Responsible Department: Finance
Date Approved/Amended: December 2, 2010
The Board shall adopt an Investment Policy as required by law.
B.1.6.2 Investments Reports
HCC Investment Policy 2013
HCC Investment Policy 2014
HCC Investment Policy 2015
HCC Investment Policy 2016
B.1.6 Investments Policy
The purpose of this Investment Policy (the “Policy”) isto complywith theAct, which requires that the HCCS annually adopt a written investment policyfor the investment of its funds and funds under its control. This document will set forth specific investment policy and strategy guidelines for HCCS in order to achieve the goals of ensuring safety of principal, maintaining adequate liquidity, maintaining public trust for all investment activities, and achieving the best allowable yield commensurate with the risk criteria of this Policy.
It is the policy of the HCCS that after allowing for the anticipated cash flow requirements and giving due consideration to the safety and risks of investments, all available funds shall be invested in conformance with these legal and administrative guidelines to target a risk-commensurate rate of return. Effective cash management is recognized as essential to good fiscal management. An active cash management and investment policy will be pursued to take advantage of investment interest as a viable and material source of revenue. HCCS’ portfolio shall be designed and managed in a manner intended to optimize this revenue resource, to be responsive to the public trust, and to be in compliance with legal requirements and limitations. HCCS will invest its funds in a manner that will provide optimal security and a reasonable rate of return while meeting the daily cash flow demands.
Investments shall be made with the primary objectives of:
- Safety and preservation of principal,
- Maintenance of sufficient liquidity to meet operating needs,
- Public trust from prudent investment activities, and
- Risk-commensurate yield on the portfolio
3. Investment Strategy
HCCS maintains a portfolio that utilizes specific investment strategy considerations designed to address the unique characteristics of the fund groups represented in the portfolio. A comprehensive and proactive cash management program will be maintained to monitor and control all funds, to ensure maximum utilization, and to yield a risk-commensurate rate of return. The investment strategy emphasizes low credit risk, diversification, and the management of maturities. In order to minimize risk of loss due to interest rate fluctuations, investment maturities will not exceed the anticipated cash flow requirements of the funds. The composite portfolio will have a dollar weighted average maturity of two (2) years or less. The management of maturitiesis accomplished by structuring the maturity dates of the direct investments in a laddered allocation. In this structure, longer-term maturities will be purchased to enhance yield while shorter-term maturities are positioned to cover cash flow needs. The allowable investment instruments as defined in Section 7 of this Policy reflect the avoidance of credit risk. Diversification is accomplished by allocating investments among a variety of alternatives and maturity terms.
3.1 The primary investment strategies as specified in this Policy (See Section 2.) are listed below, in their order of importance:
- Safety and preservation of principal;
- Maintenance of sufficient liquidity to meet operating needs;
- Seek at all times to maintain public trust by adhering to the above stated objectives; and
- Achieve a risk-commensurate rate of return on the investment portfolio.
3.2 The list of investments authorized by this Policy intentionally excludes some investments allowed by State Law. The restrictions limit possible credit risk and provide the conservatively appropriate measure of safety. Within the investment objectives, the investment strategy is to utilize authorized investments for maximum advantage to HCCS.
3.3 The general portfolio strategy for the aggregate portfolio is to increase the interest earnings for funds identified as being available for investment over longer periods of time based upon a cash requirements projection. The following general portfolio strategies will be considered:
3.3.1 Strategy No. 1. Satisfying liquidity requirements through the use of financial institution deposits, local government investment pools and money market mutual funds. An investment pool or money market mutual fund is an entity created to invest funds jointly on behalf of its participants. Funds are usually available from investment pools and money market mutual funds on a same-day basis, meaning the pools or funds have a high degree of liquidity. Because of the size and expertise of their staff, investment pools and money market mutual funds are able to prudently invest in a variety of investment types.
3.3.2 Strategy No. 2. Building a laddered structure of authorized investments with staggered maturities for all or part of the longer-term investable funds. The benefits of this laddered approach include the following:
- It is straight-forward and easily understood;
- It represents a prudent diversification method;
- All investments remain within the approved maturity horizon;
- It helps minimize the impact of volatile interest rate changes;
- It will normally allow HCCS to capture a reasonable portion of the yield curve; and,
- It provides predictable cash flow with scheduled maturities and reinvestment opportunities.
3.3.3 Strategy No. 3. Pursuant to the Act, HCCS may, at its discretion, contract with an investment management firm registered under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. Section 80b-1 et seq.) and with the State
Securities Board to provide for investment and non-discretionary management of its public funds or other funds under its control.
An appointed Investment Advisor shall act solely in an advisory and administrative capacity, within the guidelines of this Policy. At no time shall the Advisor take possession of investments or funds or otherwise be granted authority to transact business on behalf of HCCS. Any contract awarded by HCCS for investment advisory services must be approved by the Board and may not exceed two years, with an option to extend by mutual consent of both parties.
The Investment Advisor contracted by HCCS shall abide by the Prudent Expert Rule, whereby investment advice shall, at all times, be given with the judgment and care, under circumstances then prevailing, which persons paid for their special prudence, discretion and intelligence in such matters exercised in the management of their client’s affairs, not for speculation by the client or production of fee income by the advisor or broker, but for investment by the client with emphasis on the probable safety of the capital while considering the probable income to be derived.
Chapter 2263 of the Texas Government Code mandates certain actions by governing boards of State entities involved in the management and investment of State funds and adds disclosure requirements for outside financial advisors and service providers. Ethics and disclosure requirements for outside financial advisors and service providers are in Chapter 2263.01 through 2263.06 of the Texas Government Code.
3.3.4 Strategy No. 4 - Hold until Maturity. The strategy of HCCS is to maintain sufficient liquidity in its portfolio so that it does not need to sell or liquidate an investment prior to maturity. Should it become necessary to sell or liquidate an investment prior to maturity, where the sale proceeds are less than the current book value, the Investment Officers have the authority to take such action.
3.4 The specific investment strategies for the HCCS fund or fund group(s) utilize four strategy considerations designed to address the unique characteristics of the fund group(s) represented in the portfolio(s), all authorized investments shall be suitable for each fund-type strategy and marketability shall be managed by maturity limitations:
3.4.1 Investment strategies for operating funds and pooled funds containing operating funds have as their primary objective to assure that anticipated cash flows are matched with adequate investment liquidity. The secondary objective is to create a portfolio structure that will experience minimal volatility during economic cycles through diversification by investment type, maturity date, and issuer.
3.4.2 Investment strategies for debt service funds shall have as the primary objective the assurance of investment liquidity adequate to cover the debt service obligation on the required payment date(s). These funds have predictable payment schedules. Investments purchased shall not have a stated final maturity date which exceeds the next unfunded debt service payment date, or funds shall be maintained in other shorter-term options to be available for debt service payments. Additionally, debt service funds shall be invested according to the restrictions and/or requirements of the related bond covenants.
3.4.3 Investment strategies for bond funds and debt service reserve funds shall have as the primary objective the ability to generate a dependable revenue stream to the appropriate debt service fund with low degree of volatility. Managing the Debt Service Reserve Fund’s portfolio maturities to not exceed the call provisions of the bond issue will reduce the investment’s market risk if HCCS’ bonds are called and the reserve fund liquidated. Except as may be required by the bond ordinance specific to an individual issue, investments should be of high quality, with short to medium term maturities. No investment maturity shall exceed the final maturity of the bond issue. Additionally, bond and debt service reserve funds shall be invested according to the restrictions and/or requirements of the related bond covenants.
3.4.4 Investment strategies for special projects or capital projects funds will have as their primary objective to assure that anticipated cash flows are matched with adequate investment liquidity. Market conditions and arbitrage regulations will influence the investment of capital project funds. When market conditions allow, achieving a positive spread to applicable arbitrage yield is the desired objective; although at no time shall the anticipated expenditure schedule be exceeded in an attempt to increase yield.
This Policy shall govern the investment of all financial assets considered to be part of HCCS and includes all funds or fund types as described in the HCCS Audited Financial Report (“AFR”) and any other funds which have been contractually delegated to HCCS for management purposes. HCCS may add or delete funds as required by law, or for proper accounting procedures. This Policy does not include funds governed by approved trust agreements, or assets administered for the benefit of HCCS by outside agencies under retirement or deferred compensation programs. Additionally, bond funds (including debt service and reserve funds) are governed by bond ordinances and are subject to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Federal regulations governing the investment of bond proceeds.
5. Investment Objectives
HCCS shall manage and invest its cash with four primary objectives, listed in order of priority: safety, liquidity, public trust, and yield. The safety of the principal invested always remains the primary objective. All investments shall be designed and managed in a manner responsive to public trust and consistent with all applicable Texas statutes, this Policy, and any other approved, written administrative procedures.
HCCS shall maintain a comprehensive cash management program that includes prompt collection of accounts receivable, processing vendor payments in accordance with invoice terms, and prudent investment of available cash. Cash management is defined as the process of managing monies in order to assure maximum cash availability and optimal yield on short-term investment of pooled idle cash.
The four objectives of HCCS’ investment activities shall be as follows (in the order of priority):
5.1 Safety. Safety of principal invested is the foremost objective in the investment decisions of HCCS. Each investment transaction shall seek to ensure the preservation of capital in the overall portfolio. The risk of loss shall be controlled by investing only in authorized investments as defined in this Policy, by qualifying the financial institutions with whom HCCS will transact, and by portfolio diversification. Safety is defined as the undiminished return of the principal on HCCS’ investments.
5.2 Liquidity. HCCS’ investment portfolio shall remain sufficiently liquid to meet all operating requirements that may be reasonably anticipated. This is accomplished by structuring the portfolio so that investments mature concurrent with cash needs to meet anticipated demands. Because all possible cash demands cannot be anticipated, a reasonable portion of the portfolio will also be placed in investment options which offer same day liquidity for short-term funds.
5.3 Public Trust. All participants in HCCS’ investment program shall seek to act responsibly as custodians of the public trust. Investment Officers shall avoid any transaction which might involve a conflict of interest or otherwise impair public confidence in HCCS’ ability to govern effectively. All personnel of HCCS having either a direct or indirect role in the process of investing idle funds shall act responsibly as custodians of the public trust.
5.4 Yield. HCCS’ investment portfolio shall be designed with the objective of attaining a risk-commensurate rate of return throughout budgetary and economic cycles, taking into account the investment risk constraints and liquidity needs. Return on investment is of secondary importance compared to the safety and liquidity objective described above. The core of investments is limited to relatively low risk instruments in anticipation of earning a fair return relative to the risk being assumed.
6. Investment Responsibility and Control
The authority for investing funds rests with the Board. As provided in this Policy, the daily operation and management of HCCS’ investments are the responsibility of the following persons. These individuals must be qualified and capable in making investment decisions.
6.1 Designation of Investment Officers for HCCS. The Board delegates the authority to invest HCCS funds to the Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration and the Treasurer. Therefore, the Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration and the Treasurer are the Primary Investment Officers for HCCS and are authorized to deposit, withdraw, invest, transfer or manage in any other manner the funds of HCCS.
All persons involved in investment activities, but not officially designated as Investment Officers will be referred to in this Policy as “Investment Personnel.” No persons may engage in an investment activity except as provided under the terms of this Policy and the procedures established by the Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance
& Administration or the Treasurer. The Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration or Treasurer shall be responsible for executing all transactions undertaken, and shall establish a system of controls to regulate the activities of Investment Personnel. The system of controls shall be designed to provide reasonable assurance that the assets of HCCS are protected from loss, theft or misuse. The concept of reasonable assurance recognizes that:
- the cost of a control should not exceed the benefits likely to be derived; and,
- the valuation of costs and benefits requires estimates and judgments by management.
The Treasurer and the Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration shall be designated as the Primary Investment Officers for HCCS and shall be responsible for investment decisions and activities under the direction of the Board. The Deputy Treasurer is approved as a Secondary Investment Officer to serve in the absence of the Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for daily investment decisions and activities. However, ultimate responsibility for investment decisions will rest with both the Sr. Vice Chancellor of Finance & Administration and the Treasurer. Commitment of financial and staffing resources in order to maximize total return through active portfolio management shall be the responsibility of the Board.
6.2 Prudence. The standard of prudence to be applied by an Investment Officer shall be the "prudent person" rule, which states, "investments shall be made with judgment and care, under circumstances then prevailing, which persons of prudence, discretion and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not for speculation, but for investment, considering the probable safety of their capital as well as the probable income to be derived." In determining whether the Investment Officer has exercised prudence with respect to an investment decision, the determination shall be made taking into consideration the following:
6.2.1 The investment of all funds over which the Investment Officer had responsibility rather than a consideration as to the prudence of a single investment; and,
6.2.2 whether the investment decision was consistent with the written Investment Policy and procedures of HCCS.
6.3 Due Diligence. An Investment Officer acting in accordance with written policies and procedures and exercising due diligence, shall not be held personally responsible for a specific investment’s credit risk or market price changes. All Investment Officers and Personnel involved in investment activities will be bonded.
6.4 Ethical Standards and Conflicts of Interest. All HCCS Investment Officers and Personnel having a direct or indirect role in the investment of HCCS funds shall act as custodians of the public trust avoiding any transaction which might involve a conflict of interest, the appearance of a conflict of interest, or any activity which might otherwise discourage public confidence. Investment Officers and Personnel involved in the investment process shall refrain from any personal business activity that could conflict with proper execution of the investment program, or which could impair the ability to make impartial investment decisions.
An Investment Officer who has a personal business relationship with a depository bank or with any entity seeking to sell an investment to HCCS shall file a statement with the Texas Ethics Commission and the HCCS Board disclosing that personal business interest. Investment Officers shall disclose any material interests in financial institutions with which they also conduct business on behalf of HCCS. They shall further disclose any personal financial/investment positions that could be related to the performance of the investment portfolio. Investment Officers and Personnel shall refrain from undertaking personal investment transactions with the same individual with whom business is conducted on behalf of HCCS.
An Investment Officer who is related within the second degree of affinity or consanguinity to an individual seeking to sell an investment to HCCS shall file a statement disclosing that relationship. A statement required under this subsection must be filed with the Texas Ethics Commission and the Board.
6.5 Training.Each member of the Board shall attend at least one training session related to the person’s responsibilities within six months after taking office or assuming duties. The training will include education in investment controls, security risks, strategy risks, market risk, diversification of investment portfolio, and compliance with the Act.
In order to ensure qualified and capable investment management, the Investment Officers shall attend at least one training session containing at least 5 hours of instruction relating to the Officer's responsibility under the Act within six (6)
months after assuming duties, and attend an investment training session not less than once each State fiscal biennium, receiving an additional five (5) hours of training. The investment training session shall be provided by the following approved training sources; the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Government Finance Officers Association (National and Texas), the Government Treasurers Organization of Texas, the Texas Municipal League, the Government Investment Officers Association, and the University of North Texas Center for Public Management.
6.6 Internal Control. The Primary Investment Officer shall establish a system of internal controls. The controls shall be designed to prevent loss of public funds due to fraud, error, misrepresentation, unanticipated market changes, or imprudent actions. HCCS’ independent external auditors, in conjunction with their annual financial audit, shall perform a compliance audit of management controls and adherence to HCCS’ established Investment Policy. The internal controls shall address the following points:
- Control of collusion;
- Separation of transactions authority from accounting and record keeping;
- Custodial safekeeping;
- Avoidance of physical delivery securities;
- Clear delegation of authority to subordinate staff members; and
- Written confirmation for telephone (voice) transactions for investment and wire transfers.
7. Authorized Investments
As stated previously, safety of principal is the primary objective in investing HCCS funds and can be accomplished by limiting two types of risk: credit risk and interest rate risk. Credit risk is the risk associated with the financial failure of an investment issuer or backer. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of a portfolio will decline due to an increase in the general level of interest rates. In order to provide for safety of principal as HCCS’ primary objective, only certain investments are authorized as acceptable investments for HCCS. HCCS is not required to liquidate investments that were authorized investments at the time of purchase. The following list of authorized investments for HCCS intentionally excludes some investments authorized by law. These restrictions are placed in order to limit possible risk and provide the conservatively appropriate measure of safety to HCCS funds.
7.1 Authorized and Acceptable Investments. The authorized list of investment instruments are as follows:
7.1.1 Obligations of, or Guaranteed By Governmental Entities – The following as authorized by Section 2256.009 (a) of the Public Funds Investment Act:
(1) Obligations, including letters of credit, of the United States or its agencies and instrumentalities;
(2) Direct obligations of this State or its agencies and instrumentalities;
(3) Collateralized mortgage obligations directly issued by a federal agency or instrumentality of the United States, the underlying security for which is guaranteed by an agency or instrumentality of the United States, with the exception of those excluded in Section 7.2 of this Policy;
(1) Other obligations, the principal and interest of which are unconditionally guaranteed or insured by, or backed by the full faith and credit of, this State or the United States or their respective agencies and instrumentalities including obligations that are fully guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or by the explicit full faith and credit of the United States; and
(2) Obligations of states, agencies, counties, cities, and other political subdivisions of any state rated as to investment quality by a nationally recognized investment rating firm not less than A or its equivalent.
7.1.2 Financial Institution Deposits. A deposit issued by, or placed with, a depository institution that has its main office or a branch office in this State, and is:
guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or its successor or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or its successor;
(1) guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or its successor or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or its successor;
(2) secured by obligations that are described by the Public Funds Collateral Act and eligible within the Policy; and
(3) collateralized in accordance with Section 12.2.2 of this Policy.
In addition to the above provisions, HCCS may invest in certificates of deposit through a broker or depository institution that has its main office or a branch office in this State and is selected as required by the Act. The broker or depository institution must arrange for the deposit of the funds in certificates of deposit in one or more federally insured depository institutions, wherever located, for the account of HCCS. The full amount of the principal and accrued interest of each of the certificates of deposit must be insured by the United States or an instrumentality of the United States.
HCCS must either appoint the depository institution or broker as custodian for the HCCS with respect to the certificates of deposit, or require delivery versus payment settlement.
7.1.3 Eligible Local Government Investment Pools. Public funds investment pools which invest in instruments and follow practices allowed by the current law as defined in the Act, provided that:
- the investment pool has been authorized by the Board of Trustees;
- the investment pool has an advisory board as specified in the PFIA.
- the pool shall have furnished the Investment Officer an offering circular containing the information required by the Act;
- the pool shall furnish the Investment Officer investment transaction confirmations with respect to all investments made with it;
- the pool shall furnish to the Investment Officer monthly reports containing the information required in the Act;
- the pool is continuously rated no lower than “AAA” or “AAA-m” or an equivalent rating by at least one nationally recognized rating service;
- the pool marks its portfolio to market daily;
- the pool is compliant with all requirements of the Act; and
- the pool’s investment philosophy and strategy are consistent with this Policy.
7.1.4 Repurchase Agreements. Repurchase Agreements must have a defined termination date and must be secured by a combination of cash and obligations of the United States or its agencies and instrumentalities.
126.96.36.199 The Repurchase Agreement must be placed through a primary government securities dealer, as defined by the Federal Reserve, or a financial institution doing business in the State of Texas.
188.8.131.52 The collateral underlying the Repurchase Agreement must be pledged to HCCS, held in an account in the name of HCCS, and deposited at the time the investment is made with HCCS’ custodial (safekeeping) agent.
184.108.40.206 No repurchase agreement shall be entered into unless a Repurchase Agreement has been executed between HCCS and its trading partner.
220.127.116.11 All repurchase agreement transactions will be on a delivery versus payment basis.
18.104.22.168 Securities pledged as collateral for repurchase agreements must have a market value greater than or equal to 102 percent of the outstanding principal plus accrued interest of the agreement at all times.
7.1.5 Regulated No-Load Money Market Mutual Funds. These investments are authorized, under the following conditions:
- the money market mutual fund is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission;
- the fund provides HCCS with a prospectus and other information required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or the Investment Company Act of 1940;
- the investment objectives include the maintenance of a stable net asset value of one dollar ($1.00) per share; and
- the fund is continuously rated no lower than "AAA" or an equivalent rating by at least one nationally recognized rating service
HCCS may not invest funds under its control in an amount that exceeds 10% of the total assets of any individual money market mutual fund.
7.1.6 Regulated No-load Mutual Fund is an authorized investment if the mutual fund:
- is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission;
- has an average weighted maturity of less than two years;
- is invested exclusively in obligations approved by the Act;
- is continuously rated as to investment quality by at least one nationally recognized investment rating firm of not less than AAA or its equivalent.
- complies with the information and reporting requirements for investment pools as prescribed in the Public Funds Investment Act.
HCCS may not invest funds under its control in an amount that exceeds 15% of the total monthly average fund balance, excluding bond proceeds, reserves and debt service funds. In accordance with the Act, HCCS may not invest any proceeds of bond issuances, bond reserve funds or funds held for debt service in a mutual fund described in this section.
7.1.7 Securities Lending Program in accordance with the Act.
7.2 Investment Instruments NOT Authorized. State law specifically prohibits investment in the following securities:
7.2.1 Obligations whose payment represents the coupon payments on the outstanding principal balance of the underlying mortgage-backed security collateral and pays no principal.
7.2.2 Obligations whose payment represents the principal stream of cash flow from the underlying mortgage-backed security collateral and bears no interest.
7.2.3 Collateralized mortgage obligations that have a stated final maturity date of greater than ten years.
7.2.4 Collateralized mortgage obligations, the interest rate of which is determined by an index that adjusts opposite to the changes in a market index.
8. Effect of Loss of Required Rating
Not less than quarterly, the Investment Officers will obtain the current credit rating for each held investment that is required to maintain a minimum credit rating, from a reliable source to ensure that the investment has maintained the required minimum rating. The Investment Officers will take all prudent measures that are consistent with this Policy to liquidate an investment that is downgraded to less than the required minimum rating.
Diversification of investment instruments shall be utilized to avoid incurring unreasonable risks resulting from over-concentration of investments in a specific maturity, a specific issue, or a specific class of investments. With the exception of U.S. Government securities, as authorized in this Policy, fully collateralized financial institution deposits, and authorized local government investment pools, no more than fifty percent (50%) of the total investment portfolio will be invested in any one security type. Diversification of the portfolio considers diversification by maturity dates and diversification by investment instrument.
9.1 Diversification by Maturities. The longer the maturity of investments the greater their price volatility. Therefore, it is HCCS’ policy to concentrate its investment portfolio in shorter-term investments in order to limit principal risks caused by change in interest rates. HCCS will attempt to match its investments with anticipated cash flow requirements. Unless matched to a specific cash flow, HCCS will not directly invest in instruments maturing more than ten (10) years from the date of purchase. However, the above described obligations, certificates, or agreements may be collateralized using longer date instruments. HCCS shall diversify the use of investment instruments to avoid incurring unreasonable risks inherent in over-investing in specific instruments, individual financial institutions or maturities. Maturity scheduling shall be managed by the Investment Officers so that maturities of investments shall be timed to coincide with projected cash flow needs.
The entire HCCS portfolio, including funds at HCCS’ primary depository bank, shall comprise one pooled fund group, and the maximum average dollar-weighted maturity allowed based on the stated maturity date for the portfolio is two (2) years or less. Investment maturities for debt service interest and sinking funds and/or other types of reserve funds whose use is longer-term, may not exceed ten (10) years or the maturity date of the applicable bond issue.
9.1 Diversification by Investment Instrument. Diversification by investment instrument shall not exceed the following guidelines for each type of instrument:
Percentage of Portfolio
Maximum at Time of Purchase)
|U.S. Treasury Obligations||100%|
U.S. Government Agency Securities and Instrumentalities of Government-Sponsored Corporations
U.S. Agency Step-Up Options
Authorized Local Government Investment Pools
Fully Collateralized Financial Institution Deposits
Fully Collateralized Repurchase Agreements
SEC-Regulated No-Load Money Market Mutual Funds
SEC-Regulated No-Load Mutual Funds (excluding bond funds)
Obligation of States, Agencies, Counties, Cities and other government entities
10. Authorized Financial Dealers and Institutions
Financial institutions (federally insured banks) with and through whom HCCS invests shall be state or national banks. No public deposit shall be made except in a qualified public depository as established by State laws. Broker/dealers authorized to provide investment services to HCCS will include only those authorized by the Board. All primary banking services will be governed by a depository contract awarded by the Board. In addition, Investment Officers shall maintain a list of authorized brokers/dealers and investment pools that are authorized by the Board.
All investment providers will be required to provide a certification of having read HCCS’ Investment Policy signed by a qualified representative of the organization, acknowledging that the organization has implemented reasonable procedures and controls in an effort to preclude imprudent investment activities arising out of investment transactions conducted between HCCS and the organization.
10.1 Broker/Dealers. Brokers/dealers with whom HCCS does business must supply the following, as appropriate: (1) audited financial statements; (2) proof of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) certification; (3) proof of state registration; and (4) completed broker/dealer questionnaire.
10.2 Selection Criteria for federally insured financial institutions shall include the following: (1) the financial institution must be insured by the FDIC; (2) the financial institution must be incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas or of the United States of America; and (3) the financial institution must eligible under the Act.
11. Delivery versus Payment
It is the policy of HCCS that all security transactions entered into with HCCS shall be conducted on a “DELIVERY VERSUS PAYMENT” (DVP) basis through the Federal Reserve System or other appropriate settlement system. By doing this, HCCS funds are not released until HCCS has received the securities purchased. HCCS shall authorize the release of funds only after the safekeeping bank has received the purchased or pledged security in the safekeeping account of HCCS.
12. Safekeeping and Collateralization
12.1 Safekeeping. All securities owned by HCCS shall be held by its safekeeping agent, except the collateral for bank deposits. The collateral for bank deposits will be held in a Federal Reserve Bank, a Federal Home Loan Bank, or other custodial institution acceptable to HCCS in an account in HCCS’ name. Original safekeeping receipts shall be obtained and held by HCCS. HCCS shall contract with a bank or banks for the safekeeping of securities either owned by HCCS as part of its investment portfolio or held as collateral to secure financial institution deposits.
12.2 Collateralization. Consistent with the requirements of the Public Funds Collateral Act, it is the policy of HCCS to require full collateralization of all HCCS funds on deposit with a depository bank. In order to anticipate market changes and provide a level of security for all funds, the collateralization level will be 102% of market value of principal and accrued interest on the deposits or investments reduced to the extent that the deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) unless otherwise noted in this section. Securities pledged as collateral shall be held in HCCS’ segregated account at the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank or by an independent third party with whom HCCS has a custodial agreement. The agreement is to specify the acceptable investment securities as collateral, including provisions relating to possession of the collateral, the substitution or release of investment securities, ownership of securities, and the method of valuation of securities. The agreement must clearly state that the custodian bank is instructed to release purchased and collateral securities to HCCS in the event HCCS has determined that the depository bank has failed to pay on any matured investments in certificates of deposit, or has determined that the funds of HCCS are in jeopardy for whatever reason, including involuntary closure or change of ownership. A clearly marked pledge receipt must be supplied to and retained by HCCS. Release of collateral or substitution of securities must be approved by the HCCS.
12.2.1 HCCS may accept the following as collateral for bank deposits;
- FDIC coverage;
- U.S. Government securities; including bonds, certificates of indebtedness, or notes, irrevocable letters of credit, or other evidence of indebtedness of the United States that is guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States or its agencies and instrumentalities,
- State of Texas bonds; including obligations, the principal and interest on which, are unconditionally guaranteed or insured by the State of Texas,
- Other obligations, the principal and interest of which are unconditionally guaranteed or insured by, or backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Texas or the United States or their respective agencies and instrumentalities.
- Bonds issued by other Texas governmental entities (e.g. City, County, school district, or special districts) with a remaining maturity of twenty (20) years or less. Bonds must be (and must remain) rated at least "A" or its equivalent; or
- A surety bond that meets the requirements of the Act.
12.2.2 For certificates of deposit and other evidences of deposit the market value of collateral will always equal or exceed 102% of the principal plus accrued interest of deposits at financial institutions.
12.2.3 Financial institutions with whom HCCS invests or maintains other deposits, shall require the custodian to provide monthly, and as requested by the Investment Officers, a listing of the collateral pledged to HCCS, marked to current market prices. The listing shall include total pledged securities itemized by name, type, description, CUSIP, par value, current market value, maturity date, and Moody's or Standard & Poor's rating, if applicable. HCCS and the financial institution shall jointly assume the responsibility for ensuring that the collateral is sufficient.
12.2.4 Collateralized Deposits. Consistent with the requirements of State law, HCCS requires all bank deposits to be federally insured or collateralized. Financial institutions serving as HCCS depositories will be required to sign a "Depository Agreement" with HCCS. The collateralized deposit portion of the Agreement shall define HCCS’ rights to the collateral in the event of default, bankruptcy, or closing and shall establish a perfected security interest in compliance with Federal and State regulations, including:
- the Agreement must be in writing;
- the Agreement has to be executed by the Depository and HCCS contemporaneously with the acquisition of the asset;
- the Agreement must be approved by the Board of Directors or the Designated Committee of the Depository and a copy of the meeting minutes must be delivered to HCCS; and,
- the Agreement must be part of the Depository's "official record" continuously since its execution.
12.2.5 Competitive Pricing. In making investment purchases, the Investment Officers shall compare yields on potential investments to yields on US Treasury Bills and Notes, money market accounts at HCCS’ depository bank, and local government pools. Three competitive quotes will be obtained for all purchases of Securities, Fully Collateralized Repurchase Agreements, and Obligations of States, Agencies, Counties, other government entities and Cities.
HCCS may solicit quotes for certificates of deposit:
- in writing;
- electronically; or
- in any combination of those methods.
HCCS recognizes that a competitive quote process is not always necessary or is not always in the best interest of HCCS. On these occasions, the Investment Officers are authorized to purchase a security without seeking a competitive quote. The following are three occasions that are authorized:
- Market conditions are changing rapidly
- The security is a “new issue” that is still in the primary market
- A specific type of security, maturity date, or rate or return is sought that may not be immediately available.
HCCS’ investment portfolio will be managed in accordance with the parameters specified within this Policy. The portfolio shall be designed with the objective to obtain a market rate of return on investments commensurate with investment risk constraints and cash flow requirements of HCCS. The dollar-weighted average yield to maturity shall be the standard for calculating portfolio rate of return.
The Investment Officers shall submit a signed quarterly investment report that complies with the Act, summarizes the investment strategies employed in the most recent quarter, describes the portfolio in terms of investment instruments, maturities, risk characteristics, and total investment return for the quarter.
14.1 Annual Audit of Reports. The reports prepared by the Investment Officers shall be formally reviewed at least annually by an independent auditor as part of the annual audit and the result of the review shall be reported to the Board by that auditor.
14.2 Methods. The quarterly investment report shall include a succinct management summary that provides a clear picture of the status of the current investment portfolio and transactions made over the past quarter. This management summary will be prepared in a manner, which will allow HCCS to ascertain whether investment activities during the reporting period have conformed to the Investment Policy. The report will be provided to the Board. The report will include the following:
14.2.1 A listing of individual instruments held at the end of the reporting period.
This list will include the name of the fund or pooled group fund for which each individual investment was acquired;
14.2.2. Unrealized gains or losses resulting from appreciation or depreciation by listing the beginning and ending book and market value of instruments for the period. Market values shall be obtained from financial institutions or portfolio reporting services independent from the broker/dealer from which the security was purchased;
14.3.3 Fully accrued interest for the reporting period;
14.3.4 Average weighted yield to maturity as compared to applicable benchmarks;
14.3.5 Listing of investments by maturity date;
14.3.6 The percentage of the total portfolio which each type of investment represents; and
14.3.7 Statement of compliance of HCCS’ investment portfolio with State Law and the investment strategy and policy approved by the Board.
15. Investment Policy Adoption and Amendment
HCCS’ Investment Policy shall be adopted by resolution of the Board. It is HCCS’ intent to comply with State laws and regulations. HCCS’ written policies and procedures for investments are subject to review not less than annually to stay current with changing laws, regulations and the needs of HCCS. The Board must adopt a written instrument that it has reviewed the Investment Policy and investment strategies and the written resolution so adopted shall record any changes made to the Investment Policy or strategies.
ATTACHMENT A SAMPLE
TEXAS PUBLIC FUNDS INVESTMENT ACT CERTIFICATION BY BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
This certification is executed on behalf of the Houston Community College System, Houston, Texas (the “HCCS”) and (the “Business Organization”) pursuant to the Public Funds Investment Act, Chapter 2256, Texas Government Code (the “Act”) in connection with investment transactions conducted between the HCCS and the Business Organization.
The undersigned Qualified Representative of the Business Organization hereby certifies on behalf of the Business Organization that:
- The undersigned is a Qualified Representative of the Business Organization offering to execute an investment transaction with the Investor as such terms are used in the Public Funds Investment Act, Chapter 2256, Texas Government Code; and
- The Qualified Representative of the Business Organization has received and reviewed the Investment Policy furnished by the HCCS; and
- The Qualified Representative of the Business Organization has implemented reasonable procedures and controls in an effort to preclude investment transactions conducted between the Business Organization and the HCCS that are not authorized by the HCCS’ Investment Policy, except to the extent that this authorization is dependent on an analysis of the makeup of the HCCS’ entire portfolio or requires an interpretation of subjective investment standards.
Qualified Representative of Business Organization: