Educational Institutions

Academic institutions manage multiple pools of assets—including operating funds, endowment assets, and retirement plans. The investment management process can be simplified with the guidance of an independent advisor acting as your co-fiduciary.

Operating Funds

Trying to do more with fewer resources—both human and financial—while managing operating assets demands more innovative ways of achieving strategic funding goals. Highland’s experience and modeling capabilities can help you explore options that can optimize returns relative to your organization’s risk tolerance and funding priorities.

Foundations & Endowments

Your foundation and endowment assets represent a pact between your academic institution and your donors to advance your mission, today and into the future. With you, Highland endeavors to grow these mission-centered assets, and we commit our fiduciary’s support, transparent counsel and proactive service to that end.

We understand the interrelated facets of foundation and endowment asset management. Our goal is to help you meet near-term spending goals, defend against downside risk, and preserve long-term purchasing power against inflation. Highland stands beside you so that your institution can illuminate and impact today’s challenges while building better tomorrows.

Retirement Plans

Some retirement plans limit academics’ options and may even signal breaches in fiduciary duty due to sub-par investment choices and layered, often obscured fees. We can equip fiduciaries to your plan to help identify and mitigate those risks. Your colleagues deserve the unbiased counsel, vetted investment options and complete fee transparency that can let their retirement dreams take flight.

Defined Contribution Plans

Highland’s holistic approach considers your plan investments and far more, from plan design to compliance, fee management, demographics and participant communication as well.

Defined Benefit Plans

Pension plan decision-making calls for a deep understanding of your goals, objectives, and tolerance for risk. Highland discovers these priorities to optimize your investment strategy.

Learn more about ERISA plans for colleges and universities:

Highland Research

Highland’s approach to research is grounded in our philosophy and activated through our commitment to independent and analytical evaluation for client-first results.

Highland Research

Highland's Research Philosophy

Highland’s research philosophy is predicated on a single question: Will this help our clients succeed? With that in mind, we work patiently and diligently to source, screen and evaluate investment managers and their strategies.

Our research professionals bring expertise and knowledge gained over decades of experience across a variety of client organizations and asset classes. Our approach ensures we’re aware of and assessing new approaches while staying true to our core tenets.


Independent and Impartial

Highland is 100% independent and employee-owned with no competing affiliations or lines of business. Rest easy knowing the advice you’re receiving is impartial with this goal in mind: achieving your objectives.

A Global View

Our investment process and manager network allow clients access to best-in-class solutions, wherever they may be. Our analysts scour the globe, online and in person, to identify opportunities that promote your success.

Systems and Capabilities

At Highland, we recognize that the best solutions require customization, and systems that support them should be no different. Highland uses industry-leading software and tools, but we don’t stop there. We’ve also developed a suite of in-house, proprietary asset allocation, modeling and risk tools, ensuring our systems and capabilities evolve with our clients’ goals.

Highland’s Judgment

Highland takes a holistic view of risk when examining investment strategies and portfolios. While statistical and computational rigor can be helpful in asset allocation decisions, models don’t fully capture market behavior. That’s why for every investment manager you may work with, we qualitatively evaluate more nuanced scenarios that go beyond quantitative modeling.

As stewards for our clients and their assets, our loyalty is to you first and foremost. While we have access to investment managers across the industry and have developed long-term and constructive working relationships with them, we’re not beholden to any products or strategies. Instead, we’re free to find the best solution for you.

Your On-Staff, Off-Site Resource

Periodic meetings are a given, but relationships are built in the time between. That’s when issues arise and solutions are delivered. Highland’s client-first commitment invites you to lean on us.

Consider us your trusted colleague—on your side and just a phone call or email away.