Marking the 10 year anniversary of our Charity Multi-Asset Fund
It is 10 years today that the Charity Multi-Asset Fund was launched with the initial support of two charities investing a total of £1 million of assets. Now standing at over £510 million with 301 charity investors we are proud to have reached this milestone, backed by strong investment performance and the ongoing support of our clients.
We launched the fund in 2007 to allow charities of all sizes access to our multi-asset approach. We wanted the ability to offer an efficient, yet diversified way of investing, importantly with daily liquidity. We also realised that a number of charities had similar investment objectives, namely to generate a stable and sustainable distribution whilst protecting against the effects of inflation over the long term, and this led us to set the long term return target of inflation plus 4% per annum and the target distribution of 4% per annum, paid as a regular quarterly dividend.
Little did we realise 10 years ago quite the challenges charities would face in what has been an uncertain economic and political environment. The diversified approach proved helpful in the first few years of the Fund’s life as we endured the global financial crisis, starting in the US in 2008 and spreading to Europe in 2011. Thankfully, since then, markets have been kinder to investors and we have been able to capture nearly 90% of the FTSE All-Share total return with 69% of the volatility since inception. The fund is ranked in the first quartile of the Mercer diversified growth peer group and has outperformed our long-term inflation plus 4% target over the five years to the end of March 2017. We look forward to being able to share 10 year performance figures with you in the coming weeks.
The uncertain political and economic backdrop remains today and we continue to favour diversification in portfolio construction. After delivering strong returns over the last few years, it is times like these that we emphasise the importance of a multi-asset strategy, as compared to some of our peers who favour the more traditional equity and bond focused approach. In periods of market weakness, our strategy has protected against the worst of the market falls. We expect volatility to pick up from the current low levels, which represent near 30 year lows, and will look to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
We believe in the strength of our investment process, the quality of our assets and the fund managers with whom we invest. Whilst we are proud to have reached the fund’s 10 year anniversary, we continue to look forward and seek to do our best for our charity investors in an ever-changing environment.
Portfolio Director and Charity Multi-Asset Fund Manager
Tom began his investment career in 2005 after graduating from Newcastle University with a BA (Hons) in Business Management.
He is now a Portfolio Director with responsibility for a number of segregated portfolios and clients invested in a common investment fund, the Charity Multi-Asset Fund. He co-manages this fund having been involved in its running since launch in 2007.
Tom is a full member (MCSI) of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. He has also completed the London Business School Foundation and Endowment Asset Management Course.
Co-head of Charities
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