Charities need to give their investment managers "a lot more flexibility to be able to reduce equity weightings really quite aggressively" said Andrew Pitt, head of charities at Newton Investment Management speaking at the Civil Society Question Time debate in Westminster yesterday.
He continued, "In the past, a buy and hold mentality has taken place and it is our belief that is not going to work in the next few years."
Pitt acknowledged that charity investors "are in very difficult times" and markets over the last four years, "have effectively gone absolutely nowhere".
"The debt crisis started four years ago and we’re still in exactly the same position," he continued. "Contrast that with the environment prior to 2007 when we had the strongest bull market in history. Many charities formulated their investment policies on the basis that the good times would continue forever."
On the related but separate topic of social investment, Pitt said he was "surprised at how little we’ve had questions on that front and I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that trustees don’t necessarily feel they have the expertise to be able to cope with what is essentially a new asset class".
Watch Andrew Hind's interview with Pitt here: