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Ensign Peak Advisors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ensign Peak Advisors (EP) is the investment manager for assets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[4]

In 1997, the investment division of the LDS Church was spun off into a separate legal entity named after Ensign Peak, a hill that overlooks Salt Lake City.[4] As of February 2020, Roger Clarke is EP's Chief Executive Officer. Gérald Caussé is the church's Presiding Bishop who oversees church finances, including EP.[5]


After years of financial challenges, LDS Church leader N. Eldon Tanner established a practice in the 1960s of setting aside money from contributions each year for a rainy-day fund.[6] EP was incorporated as a non-profit corporation on 29 September 1997.[1] EP's holdings purportedly represents, in part, this rainy-day fund. United States Senator Mitt Romney was quoted as saying, "Happy that they've not only saved for a rainy day, but for a rainy decade."[7] The investment division started with three employees and by the late 1970s reportedly managed $1 billion.[4] As of February 2020, EP employs about 70 people, and all employees must maintain good standing in the LDS Church.[4]

In a 2019 press release, the LDS Church explained the use of donations by members, "The vast majority of these funds are used immediately to meet the needs of the growing Church including more meetinghouses, temples, education, humanitarian work and missionary efforts throughout the world. Over many years, a portion is methodically safeguarded through wise financial management and the building of a prudent reserve for the future."[8]

Investments and revenue

As of 2019, EP's holdings purportedly total $100 billion,[9] including $40 billion-worth of U.S. stock, timberland in the Florida panhandle, and investments in prominent hedge funds such as Bridgewater Associates.[4] Individual shares of stock identified as part of the investment fund reportedly include Apple, Chevron, Visa, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, Amazon, and Google.[10] Part of the investments were with Fisher Investments, but some money was pulled after controversial comments from founder Kenneth Fisher.[4] Clarke reports that in recent years the fund has gained about 7% annually.[4]

On November 13, 2019, EP filed a Form 990-T with the Internal Revenue Service for 2018 stating that it is a 501(c)(3) organization, that it recognized $48,295,405 of unrelated business income in 2018, and that it paid $1,108,470 of unrelated business income tax on that income.[11]

Whistleblower complaint

In 2019, the Washington Post reported a whistleblower complaint had been filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by a former EP employee, David A. Nielsen, that brought national attention to the reported size of the investments.[9][12] Nielsen was a senior portfolio manager and filed the complaint with his twin brother, Lars.[13] Later reports indicated that Lars approached the Washington Post with the information, and that David was against releasing the information publicly. David released a statement stating “Any public disclosure of information that has been in my possession was unauthorized by me.”[14][15] Peter J. Reilly of Forbes and author Sam Brunson doubt the IRS will take any action.[6][16]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ensign Peak Advisors, Inc. Entity Number: 1376719-0140". Business Search. Utah Department of Corporations and Commercial Code. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "Ensign Peak Advisors Inc". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Lovett, Ian; Levy, Rachael. "The Mormon Church Amassed $100 Billion. It Was the Best-Kept Secret in the Investment World.", The Wall Street Journal, Salt Lake City, 8 February 2020. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  5. ^ Watch, Tad (14 February 2020). "Church finances: Presiding Bishopric offers unique look inside financial operations of growing faith". Deseret News. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b Jenkins, Jack. (December 19, 2019). "LDS Church fund unlikey to face IRS backlash, experts say". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  7. ^ Turner, John (27 December 2020). "Mormons and money: An unorthodox and messy history of church finances". Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  8. ^ First Presidency Statement on Church Finances". Newsroom. 17 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b Swaine, Jon; MacMillan, Douglas; and Boorstein, Michelle. "Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges", The Washington Post, 17 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  10. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher. "LDS Church kept the lid on its $100B fund for fear tithing receipts would fall", The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah, 8 February 2020. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Form 990-T: Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return". Ensign Peak Advisors Inc. Internal Revenue Service. December 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Glader, Paul; Penrod, Emma. "Mormon Whistleblower Denounces Brother's Media Leak as Church Responds to $100 Billion Tithing Controversy", Newsweek, 21 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  13. ^ Browning, Dan. "Minnetonka man wrote exposé about Mormon church investment fund", Star Tribune, 22 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  14. ^ Glader, Paul; Penrod, Emma. "LDS Church Members Discuss Tithes And Alleged $100 Billion Stockpile", Religion Unplugged, 20 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  15. ^ Boorstein, Michelle; Swaine, Jon. "These Mormon twins worked together on an IRS whistleblower complaint over the church’s billions — and it tore them apart", The Washington Post, 16 January 2020. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.
  16. ^ Reilly, Peter J. "$100 Billion In Mormon Till Does Not Merit IRS Attention", Forbes, 17 December 2019. Retrieved on 15 February 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 April 2021, at 00:25
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