Our services for charities
There are two distinct elements to our services: investment management to meet your charity’s individual requirements, and support for your trustees and management team, as well as the charitable sector as a whole.
Individual investment management
Our experience has told us that trustees should not have to give up financial returns if they choose to invest sustainably, but we also acknowledge that ethical investment has many interpretations. That’s why we try to fully understand a charity’s financial objectives, aligning them with their overall environmental, social and corporate governance concerns to support your beneficiaries while also helping your trustees and management team deliver on your wider initiatives.
We build our service around your charity’s priorities. Our approach means you do not have to compromise on what you want from your investment manager. The diversity of the charities we work with shows our ability to meet individual requirements.
Many of the charities we work with have long histories. We feel a responsibility to make sure you can continue to support those who depend on you. To help your charity have a successful future, we aim to achieve consistent returns for you over the long term. Our patient, risk-based approach is designed to protect and grow capital. We work hard to meet growth and income expectations year after year without increasing risk by chasing short term returns.
Combined with our own longevity as a business, this prudent way of managing money gives confidence to those we work with. They feel secure about making long-term plans and setting long-range targets — over decades in some cases — for us to achieve.
Ethical investment has become further established through changes to regulation. Charities and pension funds are now required to state “where material investments are held, the investment policy and objectives, including the extent to which social, ethical or environmental considerations are taken into account”.
As a result, many charities and pension funds now go beyond solely avoiding investments which conflict with their mission to take a broader range of social and environmental issues into account. These include the Environment Agency Pension Fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, WWF, Friends of the Earth, Amnesty International, Oxfam, the RSPB and the Soil Association.
In June 2014, the Law Commission published the final report1 into its review on fiduciary duty and made clear that the term does not mean that trustees can only consider financial information when making investment decisions, but can take ESG (Environmental, social and governance) factors into account where they are “financially material”. By providing this clarification, the Commission hoped that any lingering misconceptions that trustees might have about this issue would finally be removed.
The report also acknowledged that taking ESG factors into account is designed to reduce risk and reflects evidence that sustainable companies do better in the long term, a link that has been confirmed in several research papers.
Support for your trustees and management team
We are much more than an investment provider. We want to do everything we can to support the work that you do. Direct access to your investment manager and regular meetings help your trustees to monitor investment performance and strategy.
Helping your trustees and management team to fulfil their obligations and maintain an awareness of best practice is an important part of our relationship with you. We provide complimentary training events for trustees, as well as giving thought leadership on key investment strategy issues through our white papers.
Our Annual Investor Day highlights topical ethical issues and the corporate engagement we undertake on behalf of our clients.
Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries (Law Com No 350), Law Commission, 30 June 2014http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lc350_fiduciary_duties.pdf