Trustees of Diocesan Funds
Overview and History
In 1849, the Maine Legislature incorporated the Trustees of Diocesan Funds to hold, manage, and distribute assets for the benefit of the Episcopal Church in Maine. The Trustees manage financial and real estate assets contributed for parish, mission, Diocese and Episcopate endowments in accordance with the terms of the gifts or grants.
Funds are invested in the Trustees' pooled Equity Fund and the Trustees' pooled Fixed Income Fund, with the overall allocation of assets currently at approximately 63 percent in the pooled Equity Fund and 37 percent in the pooled Fixed Income Fund. Both pooled Funds are invested in accordance with the Trustees' investment policy.
The pooled Fixed Income Fund is invested in "laddered" U.S. Treasury Notes with maturities ranging from one to nine years and is self-administered. The current average annual coupon rate of the Fixed Income Fund is approximately 3.7 percent. Management of the Pooled Equity Fund is divided between three investment management firms, HeadInvest LTD, an independently operated subsidiary of Androscoggin Bank, Welch and Forbes of Boston, Massachusetts, and HM Payson of Portland, Maine.
The Trustees have 340 individual accounts invested in the two pooled funds. Custody and fund accounting services are provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The Trustees periodically put the investment management and custody/fund accounting services out to bid to ensure the best advice, service and competitive pricing.
Availability of Services
The investment management services of the Trustees of Diocesan Funds are available to all parishes, missions, and related organizations of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. For unrestricted assets owned by a congregation, the congregation may choose and change its investment mix between the pooled Fixed Income Fund and the pooled Equity Fund. There is no load or sales charge, only the direct expenses of investment management and custody/fund accounting services as described above. Individuals who wish to include bequests in their wills to benefit individual congregations can work out the details of establishing endowments or restricted use of donations with the Trustees at no cost to the individual or the congregation. Additionally, donations of stock to the Bishop, Diocese, or an individual congregation can be made through the Trustees.
How to Establish an Account
A minimum investment of $1,000 is necessary to establish a new account with the Trustees. After an account is set up, no minimum amount is required for additions. Congregations can make the decisions concerning allocation of assets between the pooled Equity Fund and the pooled Fixed Income Fund. The Trustees request that when a new account is established, the congregation provide directions concerning allocation of assets between the pooled Fixed Income Fund and the pooled Equity Fund. If no direction is provided, a default allocation will be applied (currently 65% of the assets will be invested in the pooled Equity Fund and 35% in the pooled Fixed Income Fund). In addition, the Trustees request directions as to whether the congregation wishes to receive quarterly distributions of income from the account or to have the income added to the principal and reinvested within the account. Currently, quarterly distributions from the pooled Fixed Income Fund are based on actual interest received. Quarterly distributions from the pooled Equity Fund are determined on a Total Return basis using a twelve quarter average market value methodology at a 4.75 % annual distribution rate.
Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund
The Bishop's Discretionary Fund has endowments held by the Trustees currently valued at approximately $3.9 million. The Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund program calls for the use of no more than $250,000 of the Bishop's Discretionary Fund endowment assets to create a Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund. This Fund provides for the financing of maintenance, repair, and upgrade of real assets to Diocesan organizations, i.e. parishes, missions, and related church organizations on the short-term basis, no more than five years, in amounts not to exceed $25,000. This Fund is administered and monitored by the Trustees as an asset management function of the Bishop's Discretionary Fund endowments.
The Diocese of Maine website, www.episcopalmaine.org , provides regular information from the Trustees. Using the A-Z Directory and clicking the Trustees tab, you can find the following current information:
Investment Manager Performance Reports prepared by the Trustees' custodian, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and current market updates from the Investment Managers, Welch and Forbes and HeadInvest.
Trustees Performance Reports can be found here.
Current Market updates from the Fund Managers:
Current Trustees, Home Congregation, and Terms
Trustees are elected by Diocesan Convention to four year terms. There are no term limits.
Additional information about the Diocesan Trustees can be obtained by contacting: