Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Investment Update

Foundation News

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Investment Update

Dear FOUNDERS and Friends of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation (EPBF),

I am so pleased to forward to you an Investment Update from the Investment Committee Chair of the EPBF, John S. Koudounis who has done a masterful job in navigating a very challenging investment environment characterized by many as the worst in 50 years. Under the Koudounis Team working closely with Michael G. Psaros and the Investment Committee (Robert A. Buhler Vice Chair, Christopher Allwin, Michael N. Bapis, Frank D. Catrickes, John A. Catsimatidis, Jr., William H. Spell and John A. Catsimatidis) and the J. P. Morgan Investment Bank which holds the financial assets of the Foundation, the EPBF did not lose money during those difficult times and furthermore, the team has subsequently been able to make some nice returns. Kudos to Mr. Koudounis and his brilliant team! 

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Investment Update

John R. Koudounis
Chair, Investment Committee
Archon Koudounis is a well-respected, nationally known global investment banker, financial investor, and CEO of Calamos Investments.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation Investment Portfolio was incepted just over a year ago on February 28th, 2022, and since then we have invested $10,031,450. The total portfolio value at the end of April was $10,104,365, ending the first 14 months up slightly – just under 1%. During that time period, global markets were down ~4%, US equity markets were down ~2.8%, and fixed income markets were down ~6.9% (on a cumulative basis). We’ve positioned the portfolio conservatively with a higher allocation to cash/money market funds, using market pullbacks as opportunities to deploy capital. This has driven a majority of the positive experience, given most asset classes were down during this time period.

Looking under the hood, our equity and fixed income investments also outperformed their benchmarks on a relative basis. The equity portion of the portfolio was down 2.6% vs. the MSCI All Country World down 3.5%, and the fixed income portion of the portfolio was down 2.7% vs. the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate down 5.9% (on an annualized basis).

We continue to hold an outsized cash position of ~18% of the total portfolio, and believe we will see further opportunities to deploy capital over the next 6-12 months given lingering uncertainty around elevated inflation, geopolitical risks, and potential earnings deterioration from a recessionary environment. We are also earning 4.5-5% on this cash while we wait to deploy the additional funds.

Overall, we and the investment committee feel we have managed the portfolio effectively during market turbulence; we remain defensively positioned to take advantage of opportunities that may arise amongst the uncertainty, while keeping a majority of capital invested to drive long term compounding of the portfolio. We maintain consistent dialogue around the positioning of the portfolio and deploying capital.