Texas Presbyterian Foundation

TPF Updates, Insight, and Information Related to the Current COVID-19 Outbreak

TPF BUSINESS SCHEDULE and UPDATES

BUSINESS SCHEDULE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPF’s staff will be working remotely until further notice; however we are still available to you.

If you need to contact us, you can call our main number at (214) 522-3155 to leave a voice mail for one of the following extensions, and we will respond as soon as possible:

To contact TPF President Rick Young, dial extension 2264

To contact John Furlow, or to make inquiries about scheduling a call or meeting with John, Stefanie Marsden, or Jake Wilson, dial extension 2277

To contact Beth Wilt, or to contact Jennifer Frano, Stephanie Ray, or Marisa Perez for questions regarding your account, dial extension  2276

To contact Mary Beth Foster, or for technical questions, dial extension 2272

If you are unsure who you should contact, please contact Beth Wilt at extension 2276

We will be providing regular updates below regarding our response to the pandemic.

Thank you, and stay well!


RESPONSE-FOCUSED WEBINAR

CLICK HERE to view The Rev. Dr. Rick Young and John Furlow in our most recent webinar addressing our response to the current environment.


UPDATES

May 11, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

In has only been eight weeks since we began the process of working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for many of us these weeks have felt like months. We continue to establish what normal looks like, while at the same time attempting to formulate our future – whatever that might be. Throughout this time, TPF has worked tirelessly to meet each of our partners’ needs. It is our hope that you all have been pleased with our service, and if for some reason you have unmet needs, questions, or concerns, we hope you will let us know. As always, we are looking for ways we can improve how we serve you.

Moving forward, we will not be providing updates weekly, but we will communicate as the changing situation deems necessary. As a team, we have worked together to define a process that when necessary, allows our staff to safely work in the office while maintaining safe social distancing practices. The safety of our TPF staff and partners is of the utmost importance to us. Zoom meetings continue to power our face-to-face communications, as even in this time, they allow us to effectively meet your presentation and reporting needs. Although, I have to say, we do miss gathering with our partners in-person as we all work together to enable and expand mission. We are acutely aware everyone has not reached the same level of reopening as we have in Dallas County, Texas. TPF staff hails from three different counties, each of which have their own guidelines and requirements for dealing with the pandemic. With partners in 30 states, we are also aware that you are all at drastically different stages of reopening, and we will continue to seek innovative ways that we can be of service to you. In fact, right now, we are working on new tools and content created specifically to meet the new and constantly changing partner needs of this turbulent time. 

TPF’s Board of Trustees will meet remotely on Tuesday of this week. At this time, our Investment Committee will hear market updates, review investment managers, and review the TPF Balanced Fund and its underlying components. While it is possible we could see an extension of the current market volatility into the coming months, we will work to manage the risk with our proven long-term strategies and active management.

Should the environment change dramatically, we will return to this direct discourse on what we are all experiencing. But for now, we hope that you will keep in touch with us via our website, social media, blog, email, phone, and Zoom. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Our prayer remains that you are all staying well and safe. We exist to enable and expand mission. Moving forward, our purpose becomes an even more important part of who we are and what we do.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


May 4, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

Each person views their own life experience through his or her own lens, as we are all shaped by our upbringing, culture, and family. While tools like Myers-Briggs Personality Tests and Enneagram Tests enable us to learn even more about how we see the world around us, there can be no question that each of us is experiencing these times in our own unique way. However, one common trait shared by the TPF staff is our dedication to enabling and expanding mission. It defines who we are and what we do. In an effort to bring to light the unique experience and isolation of the past few weeks, today we present to you a new blog post from one of our Relationship Managers, Stefanie Marsden.

This new content, “Thoughts on a Hopeful New Normal: Overcoming Isolation, Together,” provides insight into how some members of Generation X are making the most of this turbulent time. This kind of isolation can be lonely and unsettling. As a well-established extrovert, Stefanie has been forced to develop new ways to grow her relationships and support TPF partners. Here, Stefanie addresses some of the benefits we can glean from our current situation with hopeful words of encouragement.

Click here to access TPF’s new blog post: 

TPF remains dedicated to serving our partners, especially in this time of isolation. We are available via phone or email to answer your question and provide requested support.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


April 27, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

Over the past eight weeks, the COVID-19 crisis has delivered an unprecedented shock to our economy. Investment grade credit in March 2020 had the worst month ever. Last week, we saw oil prices dip into a previously unseen realm of negative prices. These events, combined with the temporary closure of most business, have created unstable markets. At this point, it is no longer uncommon to see two percent daily swings in the stock market.

In the past 33 years, U.S. markets have experienced eight events that triggered double digit drops ranging from 19% to 56%. We can assess the impact of those that have past:

  1. Black Monday, 1987
  2. The Gulf War, 1990
  3. Asian Monetary Crisis, 1998
  4. Tech Bubble, 2000-2002
  5. Financial Crisis, 2008
  6. U.S. Credit Downgrade, 2011
  7. China Trade War, 2018

However, the eighth, the COVID-19 crisis, is currently ongoing. In past events institutional investors who remained faithful to their investment plan saw bounce back returns between +21% and +68% in the 12 months following the crisis.

TPF partners have already experienced increased returns in the first three weeks of April. While we know we will all be fighting this pandemic in the months to come, we continue to confidently believe in the strategies behind our funds and the decisions made by our team of TPF managers. Currently, investors in the TPF Balanced Fund hold market values close to where they were at the end of Q1, 2019. As of March 31, 2020, the TPF Balanced Fund retains a five-year annualized return number of +3.36%, which is in the top quartile of its peers.

While we are clearly in the center of an extraordinary pandemic, there are many reasons for an optimistic outlook when it comes to your investments. Rest assured, your TPF team is here to support you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or phone.

All my best,

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


April 20, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

When we began our weekly updates over a month ago, our goal was to provide timely, useful, and inspirational information for our current and prospective partners during this time of uncertainty and unease. Today, our goal remains the same. We seek to not overwhelm you with too much information, but instead provide purposeful updates full of relevant and meaningful content about how we continue to embody our purpose of expanding and enabling the mission of our partners. As part of this effort, today we present to you a new blog post from one of our Relationship Managers, Jake Wilson.

This new post, “Thoughts on a Hopeful New Normal: Thriving with Technology, Together,” provides insight into how millennials are coping during this pandemic. How are they working to stay connected? What types of technology can support business efforts? How are they finding humor and entertainment? Jake addresses these questions and more. Now more than ever, it’s important that we leverage every tool available to ensure that we are thriving, together.

Click here to access Jake’s new blog post:

Additionally, THE CLOSING BELL for Q1 is now available. CLICK HERE to view our latest numbers, investment updates, and TPF news. You can also find reports for the first quarter of 2020 in the Reports section of our website.

Remember, we continue to be available via phone or email to answer your questions and provide needed support. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here for you!

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


April 13, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

In last week’s update, we expressed our appreciation for our partners’ innovation, creativity, and resilience as you fulfill your missions. Daily, we continue to see examples through our partner communication. This week, I ask that you indulge me as I share how impressed I am with the staff of TPF. My career has allowed me to stay in the world of churches and nonprofits for many years, and I can say unequivocally, that this group of 14 people comprises the best staff with which I have ever had the privilege to work. Their dedication, work ethic, zeal for mission, and personal service orientation makes up the backbone of this great organization. Throughout my 40+ years of service to the church, I have had the opportunity to work with some exceptional people, but these last nine years have shown me what is possible when a team with the same vision and spirit joins arms to accomplish their mission. One of our key beliefs is that we can accomplish more together than individually, and each member of our staff lives this daily.

To further illustrate my point, let’s remember back to March 16th, when we made the decision—in an effort to protect the health and welfare of both our staff and the broader community—to work remotely. Although we had practiced disaster recovery semi-annually for years, we had not rehearsed or practiced what it would look like if we did not have one central place to gather. We are tilling new ground, just like so many others.

I’d like to share some of our most recent accomplishments with you below:

  • IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL: Working remotely, our staff has completed a month-end reporting cycle, as well as quarter-end reporting for 1Q 2020 within the usual time span. Statements and the Closing Bell will be placed in the mail early this week. Our accounting staff has cut checks when needed, and they have completed required bookkeeping tasks.
  • WE CONTINUE CULTIVATING RELATIONSHIPS: The Relationship Managers have made phone calls, scheduled and held zoom meetings and written emails to many of our current and prospective partners.
  • OUR TECHNOLOGY IS RUNNING STRONG: Our IT gurus have kept us up and running while they continue to meet the needs of our staff and partners. Technology is critical right now, and our Technology team ensures that we remain operational with all systems set to “GO!”
  • COMMUNICATION IS KEY: Especially now, communication is critical. Under the direction of our Marketing Director, we have produced a webinar, sent out weekly updates, published blogs, and maintained an updated website with consistent new information on our work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff participates in a weekly Zoom call, while our Executive Leadership meets via Zoom each day. We are also currently managing the logistics of holding our regularly scheduled TPF Board of Trustees meeting remotely.

To say I am proud of this team would be a huge understatement. This is truly TPF at its best!

We work each day to support our partners, because we believe that we truly are all in this TOGETHER. I am aware that each of you have stories and examples of the ways in which you and your teams have been heroes. We applaud you, and we join you in celebrating these remarkable people.  I know that we will all make it through this and be richer for it. We truly are better together!

Blessings,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


April 6, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

The Dallas County “Shelter-in-Place”order has been extended through April 30. During this time, TPF will continue full operation while our staff works remotely. We will continue to provide weekly updates and insights throughout these unprecedented times. As this period of social distancing stretches on, it has brought to light some of the fascinating ways in which we all are finding to stay connected.

We have spent the latest decade living in a partisan, divided world with little middle ground. A “you’re either for me or against me” mindset seems to have taken over as a cultural norm. We limit our relationship circle to those who think and act like us. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how much we need one another. It’s time to knock down the walls that we have built between us. In our current environment, we need patience and tolerance – two traits that are hard to find when we are afraid and uncertain.

TPF is privileged to see our partners change the lives of those they serve in innovative ways that keep people connected. As for TPF, we are learning that it is not the building that defines us, but that who we are defines the building. Currently, we are surrounded by examples of people caring for one another. Let’s not only keep this up, but accelerate these occasions. We marvel at the way you are all dealing with this “new normal” that changes every 15 minutes.

Through the study of family systems and sociology, we have gleaned that culture overwhelmingly shapes the attitudes of each generation. The World Wars and The Great Depression shaped the Greatest and Silent generations, while the post-war prosperity, Vietnam War, and changing morals framed the growth of the Baby Boomers. Generation X dealt with high underemployment, a stock market crash, and bubble burst, which obviously changed the lens through which they see the world.  The much discussed and often maligned Millennials were strapped with student debt and an uncertain world order. Generation Z’s growth has been bracketed with the 9/11 disaster and COVID-19. This context allows us to define key generational differences and points of view. Perhaps this understanding will lead to more tolerance and patience, or so we can hope. Especially now, it’s important to be proactive in agreeing to disagree, so we can unite with others to accomplish the bigger goal of personal and mental health for all.

TPF is a microcosm of this, with our staff representing most of the generations mentioned above. We may have different upbringings and worldviews, yet we are united around the goal of helping our current and prospective partners enable and expand mission. We are excited to share in the way our partners accomplish their mission. You are truly the hands, feet, and mouths of God. For that, we give you our deepest appreciation and gratitude.

In the past few weeks, we have heard the phrase, “We are all in this together…” numerous times. These words are not to be taken lightly. A cord is stronger with the addition of each strand. Please know that Texas Presbyterian Foundation’s Trustees, Executive Leadership, and Staff are lifting you daily in our thoughts and prayers.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


March 30, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

The extension of federal social distancing guidelines, combined with the sobering predictions of our nation’s most respected physicians, creates an anxious environment for all of us. We understand that you, our Partners, and those you serve are all impacted at this time. We continue to offer prayers for each of you and your congregations, institutions, and organizations. We are partners in this fight to continue and support mission and ministry.

Transparency, partner care, and service have always been pillars of strength for TPF. To ensure the continuation of each of these, we will create and share a weekly update designed to provide you with news, updated information, and support.

Last week, we hosted a short webinar designed to efficiently deliver helpful information to you. CLICK HERE to register for and view this new webinar.

Below, we’ve listed some key highlights from this informative event:

  1. Each member of the TPF Staff continues to work remotely in accordance with federal, state, county, and city guidelines. We have weekly staff meeting via Zoom, and TPF leadership meets via Zoom every day.
  2. TPF will only accept written/emailed/faxed instructions to make a distribution from your account(s). Our Partners have requirements about who can sign and how many signatures are required to make a disbursement. Should issues arise, we will partner with you to ensure expedient resolution.
  3. Please remember that TPF only allows distributions from your account(s) invested in our Pooled Funds on the first business day of each month, and disbursement requests must be received by noon on the last business day of the preceding month. However, if you have investments in the TPF Money Market Fund, disbursements may be made during the month.
  4. The CARES Act drafted by Congress and signed by the President of the United States has special provisions for non-profit organizations. We suggest that you spend time learning how this Act might assist you in continuing to help those you serve. TPF does not provide legal counsel, and we advise that you enlist the aid of those who specialize in this field.
  5. TPF is here for you!

We are amazed, but not surprised, by the creative and innovative ways in which you are continuing to care for your organization and those you serve. We are proud to be your partner!

Please take care of yourselves mentally and physically, as you remain a lifeline to those you serve.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


March 23, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

In this rapidly changing landscape, communication is critical. As such, we want to provide assurance that TPF’s ability to successfully conduct operations has not been diminished as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

TPF is committed to providing you uninterrupted service and support. A working group of TPF’s senior management and Staff has been meeting daily to ensure we are well-positioned to adjust as circumstances warrant. Our focus has not only been on the health and safety of our Staff, but also on service and communication to our Partners.

As noted in prior communications, TPF has taken proactive measures to keep our team members and their families as safe as possible. For over 20 years TPF has practiced and tested a robust business continuity plan. Thus far, TPF has not missed a beat during this current pandemic. As of today, Monday March 23, 2020, TPF is operating under a “Shelter in place” order. We will still be able to respond to Partner requests and anticipate continued full operations. Should anything change, we will keep you informed.

This month, we have seen unprecedented volatility in the investment markets. The structure, quality, and liquidity of the TPF Pooled Funds should help our Partner’s portfolios weather the storm. Remember, this is a health-driven crisis, where the fear of the unknown is the key factor in this volatility. Our funds have been managed through similar periods of stock and bond market volatility, and our long-term record is supportive of our measured approach.

We continue to correspond with all of TPF’s Investment Managers, and their investment strategy decisions remain focused on long-term investment outcomes. There’s no doubt that already, absolute investment results are being adversely impacted, reflecting extraordinary share price volatility of our portfolio business and broader markets. However, our relative investment results remain fairly strong.

Additionally, TPF is planning a webinar this Friday, March 27, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on TPF and our Partners. We will be discussing both the current environment and the ways TPF is here to serve you. Registration information will be posted on this update page.

Our major concern is for you, yours, and your congregation or institution. We understand that your lives are impacted by the stress and ramifications of this virus. We lift you daily in our thoughts and prayers. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and those closest to you. In these times, it’s important that we not only protect our physical health, but our mental health as well.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

 


March 16, 2020

Dear TPF Partners, Friends, and Associates,

We continue to evaluate the growing impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak and assess its implications for our partners, staff, and investment strategies. Public health and safety considerations remain of the utmost importance. In this update, we share information and insights from TPF Executive Leaders, Segal Marco Advisors, and TPF Investment Managers.
TPF has taken proactive measures to keep our team members and their families as safe as possible. Fortunately, at this point no member of our staff has reported coronavirus infection. By virtue of business continuity planning and preparation, we have the systems and technologies that enable our staff members to execute their responsibilities remotely and fulfill our obligations to our partners. At this time, we anticipate continued full operations, and we will keep you informed of any change in our status.
This past week, we have seen a variety of responses from governments and businesses to the increasing spread of the corona virus. The closure of events, meetings, schools, and general activity will negatively impact the economy. While these markets can be unsettling and difficult to endure, it is imperative that we all remember that times like these are NOT the times to make major changes or decisions.
Remember, we have seen rough patches before, and staying the course has guided us through previous turbulent waters. Comforting us along the way, we have the quality and liquidity of the TPF Pooled Funds. This liquidity provides TPF and our partners with the flexibility to capitalize on rebalancing opportunities that arise with this volatility, while also, and most importantly, allowing TPF to provide our partners with the vital needed dollars to help meet your mission.
It is important to understand that this is a health-driven crisis, where the unknown duration of the outbreak is the key determinant of the magnitude of the crisis. However, this event WILL have a duration, and it is NOT a financial crisis. Unlike 2008, potential systemic concerns such as the health of banks and financial institutions are not the key issues. Our funds have been managed through similar periods of stock and bond market volatility, and our long-term record is supportive of our measured approach.
We have corresponded with all of TPF’s Investment Managers, and their investment strategy decisions remain focused on long-term investment outcomes. There’s no doubt that already, absolute investment results are being adversely impacted, reflecting extraordinary share price volatility of our portfolio business and broader markets. However, our relative investment results remain fairly strong. The lower interest rates have proved the diversification benefits of bonds as a hedge against stock market volatility. Moreover, such periods of high stock market volatility present us with the opportunity to build positions in our highest conviction businesses.
For more information, CLICK HERE to access the most current Investment Brief from Tim Barron, Chief Investment Officer, Segal Marco Advisors.
With all of this being said, TPF is keeping each of you and the congregations and organizations that you represent in our thoughts and prayers. We know that these are stressful and uncertain times, and we remain your dedicated  partner in ministry and mission. Please be safe and stay strong.

All our best,

The Rev. Dr. Rick Young
President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

John Furlow
Executive Vice President
Texas Presbyterian Foundation

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.