Investment banker Eric Baroyan was elected to his first term to the Board of Directors of the Armenian Church Endowment Fund (ACEF) on Friday, November 17, 2017.
An active member of St. Vartan Cathedral and the Armenian community at large, Baroyan sees his election as an opportunity to become even more involved in the church, which is close to his heart.
“The church means a lot to me and my family,” said Baroyan. “I thought based on my background and professional experience this is the best way to contribute.”
Baroyan’s involvement in ACEF is motivated by his desire to “give back to my community” and follow his family’s legacy. His wife, Taline, is the granddaughter of former ACEF chair, the late Kevork Hovnanian.
“My wife’s parents and grandparents have been highly involved in the church for decades, both on the Diocesan and parish level at St. Stepanos Armenian Church in Elberon, New Jersey,” said Baroyan. “My children have all been baptized at the Cathedral and the church means a lot to me personally.”
His experience in private equity and the non-profit community (Baroyan serves on the board of another endowment fund) is directly applicable to his work at ACEF. His experience in finance includes working for Capital Z Financial Services Partners and serving in the Investment Banking Division of Salomon Smith Barney. Baroyan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Baroyan is the youngest partner in the history of American Industrial Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City, where he currently works.
Critical to be Involved
“Eric brings a multitude of valuable insight to ACEF,” said Charles Demirjian, Chair of ACEF. “Most notably, his professional experience provides him with in-depth industry and market outlooks as well as first-hand experience with many of the investment managers we use or consider using.”
Demirjian elaborated that the key benefits ACEF offers include independence, professional management and diversification. An independent organization with a Board of Directors, ACEF is “comprised of a diverse group of professionals drawn from our Armenian community.” The endowment fund focuses on helping parishes manage their own funds or help donors create endowments for specific use.
“The members of our Board of Directors provide their own high level of expertise and insight, and together, these benefits enable ACEF to help facilitate the long-term future for the Diocese, its individual parishes and the donors who support them,” said Demirjian.
At the organization’s last meeting in November, Investment Chair Gregory Bedrosian reported that ACEF’s portfolio had surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time in history, with a total of $103.9 million in funds as of September 30, 2017.
This achievement is what the founders had in mind when establishing ACEF over three decades ago.
“My grandfather, Dadour Dadourian, was one of the founding members and he really believed in building up an endowment for the church to secure its growth for future generations,” said Melanie Dadourian, a board member of ACEF, and co-chair of the Our Church, Our Legacy Endowment Campaign. “By sitting on the board I get an inside look into how professionally the funds are managed and how everyone has something unique to bring to the table.”
With the election of Baroyan to the board, Dadourian sees the significance of fellow Armenians using their talents to contribute to the church.
“It’s incredibly important to have young, intelligent people on our board,” said Dadourian. “As a representative of the next generation, Eric is an example to his peers.”
While it’s important for the next generation to carry on the torch of the church founder’s and ensure the financial health of the Diocese and the Armenian Church, Baroyan sees it as everyone’s responsibility.
“It’s critical for all Armenians to be involved because the church is the center of our culture,” said Baroyan. “You can’t separate being Armenian from the church because there’s not only a religious perspective but there’s a massive cultural element to it as well. It’s what makes us special.”
“I am so pleased to welcome Eric as a new ACEF board member,” said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). “He will help continue to grow the strength of the new generation and build on the proud legacy of the past.”