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Rien van Gendt, member of the LTI@UniTO Scientific Committee, shared with Italian newspaper La Republica his view about how foundations are responding to the outbreak of the COVID-19 emergency:

“The immediate response was mixed. Foundations, like other investors, were hit hard by the financial market drop however, were able to offer assistance to their grantees, by allowing for no cost extensions, loosening bureaucratic requirements, offering non-financial support.”

“So far, this crisis is expected to evolve in a “V-shaped” manner, with a sharp decline followed by a sharp upward recovery. Based on my experience, most of the foundations look upon themselves as long-term investors. As a consequence, most of them have not changed their strategic asset allocation. Equity holdings have however been adjusted, with tilted attention towards high yield shares, global brands, which have enough liquidity, and to illiquid investments, which tend to be less volatile than listed stock in the actual moment.”

“I see an increasing awareness of the importance of conforming investments to ESG criteria and a further emphasis on impact investing.”