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GuideStone’s Hawkins has high hopes for 2011
Curtis D. Sharp, GuideStone Financial Resources
March 07, 2011
6 MIN READ TIME

GuideStone’s Hawkins has high hopes for 2011

GuideStone’s Hawkins has high hopes for 2011
Curtis D. Sharp, GuideStone Financial Resources
March 07, 2011

DALLAS (BP) — Speaking from an Old Testament passage,

GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins told trustees, “We are

challenging our employees to make every effort this year to ‘see the glass

half-full’ as we seize opportunities to enhance the financial security of our

participants.”

GuideStone’s trustees, who met Feb. 28-March 1 in Dallas, also heard a report

from Chief Operating Officer John R. Jones on the Southern Baptist entity’s

various program areas.

Hawkins, in addressing the trustees, drew from Numbers 14:24, which says, “…

But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit, and has followed Me

fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall

possess it.” Caleb and Joshua, Hawkins noted, “had optimistic attitudes. They

saw the glass half-full rather than half-empty as the other 10 spies who had

obstinate attitudes.”

“Those who see a glass half-empty see a problem in every answer,” Hawkins

continued, “while those who view the glass half-full find an answer in every

problem.

“Organizations that see the glass half-empty often just play defense, and many

of those are in decline. Organizations that see the glass half-full want to

accomplish more and are on the offensive to succeed for the benefit of those

they serve. We want to take every opportunity to succeed for our participants.”

Jones updated trustees on GuideStone’s work in investments, retirement and

insurance and the entity’s financial assistance and developmental initiatives.

“The dawn of 2010 brought a more optimistic view of the financial markets as

our participants continued to recover value lost during the recent recession,”

Jones said in reviewing GuideStone’s investment funds’ performance for 2010. “All

GuideStone funds posted positive returns for the year. All Equity Select Funds

posted double digit returns in 2010. Investors in well-diversified portfolios,

such as GuideStone Funds Asset Allocation and date-target funds, realized what

we feel are strong gains for the year.”

According to Lipper Rankings, nine of 12 GuideStone Select Funds in the GS4

class met or exceeded median returns within their respective peer universe,

based upon risk-adjusted returns, for the year ending Dec. 31, 2010. (The

various GS classes are defined in the prospectus of each fund and largely

relate to eligibility of participants and fund size.)

Three GuideStone Funds received special recognition. For the five-year period

ending Jan. 31, 2011, GuideStone’s Extended Duration Bond Fund in the GS2 class

was ranked number one among its peers by Lipper. For the one-year period ending

Jan. 31, 2011, both the MyDestination 2035 Fund and the MyDestination 2045 Fund

were ranked number one for date-target funds.

“In addition, GuideStone Funds ranked 60 out of 205 mutual fund families in the

most recent Fund Family Fiduciary Rankings prepared by fi360,” Jones said of the

report that ranks mutual fund families based on the percentage of their

individual funds that pass various due diligence screens. fi360’s screens

include the fund’s track record, assets, management tenure, style consistency,

expense ratio, risk adjusted performance and performance relative to their peer

group, among other criteria.

Jones also reported, “Contributions to retirement plans increased as employers

and employees began to reinstate contributions to participants’ accounts that

were reduced or eliminated during the recent economic downturn.”

Turning to GuideStone’s medical plans, Jones commented on the continuing

discussions regarding the new federal health care law. “Although new health

care reform legislation was signed into law, the long-term effects and the

implementation of that law continue to be surrounded by uncertainty,” Jones

said.

As appeals continue through the courts and uncertainties remain in how it will

be funded and what the legislation actually involves, Jones said GuideStone has

teams studying the law and accompanying guidance, and is preparing for

implementation.

In the financial assistance area, Jones reported good news concerning generous

responses by individuals and churches that support the financial assistance

program, Mission:Dignity.

“Many retired Southern Baptist ministers and widows face uncertainties as to

how they will pay their bills, if they’ll get their medicines or what they will

eat. It can be a traumatic time for these dear servants of Christ,” Jones said.

“During this past year, Southern Baptists have continued to be Christ’s hands

extended to provide financial assistance for those who need it most. Over 1,000

new donors made their first gift to Mission:Dignity during 2010.”

The Mission:Dignity program provides financial assistance to more than 2,000

retired ministers or their widows in crucial financial need.

Information concerning Mission:Dignity may be requested by calling GuideStone

at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Jones also told trustees that participant utilization of the personalized

financial advice service launched in 2009, GPS: Guided Planning Services,

continues to increase. The free service allows participants to select

investment funds for their retirement account at GuideStone and assess whether

they are on track to meet their retirement savings goals. Participants may work

individually through the online tool or make a telephone appointment with a

GuideStone investment adviser for personal assistance.

Jones reported that a new major GuideStone initiative is focusing on

establishing an enterprise risk management program, with a goal of ensuring

that risks are appropriately identified, assessed, prioritized, monitored and

communicated.

“GuideStone has done a good job in the past to manage risks in our various

business units,” Jones said. “This new initiative will help us to take a

macro-approach in coordinating our risk management efforts across our entire

enterprise.”

Trustees accepted the recommendation of their general officers nominating

committee and elected Harold D. Vick of Florida as chairman and Ronald L.

Bryant of the Northwest Baptist Convention, as vice chairman.

Seven trustees were honored during a Monday evening dinner as they reached the

end of their terms of service: Gregory A. Bibb (Kentucky), Mary C. Dighton

(Kansas-Nebraska), Robert A. Harris, Jr. (Virginia), James B. Henry (Florida),

Darryl J. Hoychick (Louisiana), James R. Scrivner (Oklahoma), and Frankie J.

Smitherman (Alabama).

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Sharp is executive officer for denominational and public

relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources.)

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