Wellcome Trust posts 13.4 per cent return on its £25.9bn portfolio

04 Jan 2019 News

The Wellcome Trust has reported a 13.4 per cent return on its £25.9bn investment portfolio in the past year, according to documents recently filed.

According to the charity’s annual report and accounts, running to September 2018, its portfolio grew by £3.6bn year-on-year, a similar amount as the previous year.

The charity said its portfolio has delivered an 11.7 per cent a year real return after inflation over the past ten years, which it described as “exceptional” during “the darkest days of the financial crisis”.

However, in her introduction to the report, chair Eliza Manningham-Buller said the year had seen a return of market volatility.

She said: “Against a more challenging market backdrop, the investments team has focused on maintaining liquidity and generating positive cash flow.

“Strong corporate earnings in public equities and a mature private equity portfolio have contributed significantly. In a more volatile environment, however, it has been even more important to concentrate on careful stewardship of the assets and partnerships in which we invest.”

Spending down

The trust spend £638m on charitable spending, meanwhile, notably lower than the £1.1bn it spent in 2016/17.

In his introduction to the report, director Jeremy Farrar, who was knighted in the New Year Honours List, said this was due to the trust making no large funding commitments in 2017/18.

He added: “The overall trend, however, is that our total spending is steadily increasing towards an average of over £1bn a year.”

According to the accounts, the highest paid member of the charity’s investment team was paid £3.2m in 2017/18, down from £3.7m the previous year.

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