The investment demands of each charity are different. We aim to develop a good understanding of the trustees’ long-term objectives and requirements prior to proposing investment strategies to meet them.
We are then able to develop a long-term solution based on expected returns, time horizons and levels of risk with which the trustees feel comfortable
Our portfolio management service is designed for charities with assets in excess of £1 million and offers:
Most of our charity clients choose to use pooled funds for the management of their assets. This enables us to structure an administratively efficient and cost effective investment mandate, which seeks to access the most talented managers while retaining the ability to adapt.
We recognise that some charities have investment restrictions which rule out the use of pooled vehicles. Therefore, where there are sufficient assets to diversify the trustees’ risk in a cost effective way, we will invest for charities on a segregated basis.
While charities differ in their requirements, there are four broad stages to our advice:
We are able to offer support and investment options, for charities with as little as £1,000 to invest. Our charity funds can represent a cost effective and efficient way for charities to access our services. Our portfolio management service, for charities with over £1 million to invest, provides a tailored investment solution capable of meeting a broad range of objectives including those looking to protect against inflation, generate income or with specific ethical requirements.
Investment strategy is at the heart of any portfolio. We aim to identify the appropriate long-term mix of asset classes that best achieves your charity’s particular investment objectives. In doing so we consider the following factors:
Having established the appropriate strategic asset allocation, the next step is to construct the portfolio, taking into account the range of assets and the relative attraction of each asset classes in the prevailing market conditions compared to others. By making short-term overweight or underweight adjustments to the strategic asset allocation in a particular asset class or market, it is possible to take advantage of expected variations in asset performance.
Once we have finalised the strategy and asset allocation, we select the most appropriate underlying investments. We have the flexibility and depth of research to invest across all asset classes. Our charity clients adopt a variety of strategies, some invest directly in equities and bonds, others focus on diversification through pooled funds. We include external products and managers alongside funds managed by Schroders.
We achieve diversification by selecting a blend of funds across a range of investment styles. We have a successful, established track record of strong performance across a broad range of assets and we feel that we can often provide our clients with in-house investment vehicles to meet their needs.
We have the flexibility to include external products and managers. Indeed, we advocate exposure to third party funds in order to achieve greater diversification and improved projected performance. We believe that access to third party fund managers improves our flexibility and range of suitable funds which is an integral part of our approach to portfolio construction.
We are also able to manage investments on a directly invested basis, where required or preferred by clients.
We understand that our charity clients have differing and complex needs, and that many hold large sums in cash from time to time. Our cash administration team helps them to get the best possible rate combined with security.
Our cash administration service is tailored to each charity's individual needs and aims to provide enhanced cash returns and credit quality. Our cash portfolios are actively managed by a cash administration specialist, assisted by the cash administration dealing and administration team and overseen by our Credit Committee. A portfolio is individually constructed for each client, taking into account such issues as investment time horizon, income requirement and risk appetite.
Our cash administration team seeks to identify highly competitive deposit rates and we offer a diverse range of products, varying from instant access and notice accounts to fixed rate deposits. We can also invest in liquidity funds and short-dated government and corporate bonds where required.
Cazenove Capital believes that companies have the ability to enhance their long-term performance through an understanding of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues affecting their business.
In an increasingly dynamic environment where legitimacy and credibility in the market place are important indicators of corporate performance, a thorough awareness of ESG issues enables companies to potentially mitigate risks and liabilities that could arise from these issues as well as realise opportunities.
Central to responsible investment is our belief that it is in our clients' best interests to consider a company's management of, and exposure to, ESG issues. Companies that combine good governance and corporate responsibility will tend to deliver long-term shareholder value over time.
We utilise specialist research to help develop investment universes that reflect our clients' values. Typically these would exclude companies based on certain moral criteria, for example tobacco or alcohol. However we are also able to develop screens for clients that reflect a company's material exposure to a particular issue or that focus on breaches of international standards.
We believe that our approach to responsible investment is in compliance with the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
As owners, shareholders have certain rights and powers, including the right to vote and an ability to engage with the companies in which they hold shares. Schroders has, for many years, used these powers. We believe it is in the interests of our clients to be responsible owners, seeking enhanced returns and lower risk in respect of the companies in which our client funds are invested. Accordingly, we exercise voting powers and actively engage with companies on, amongst other things, strategy, risk, performance and governance.
Our policy regarding the governance of the companies in which client funds are invested is described in our Investment and Corporate Governance policy. In The RI and corporate governance policies detail our approach to engagement, voting and integration, they cover, amongst other things, our approach to voting, our views on the structure of governance at companies and board compensation. It is central to our investment process to consider each company’s ability to create and sustain value. It is essential to this process to question and challenge companies about issues that we perceive may affect their value. Engagement and actively voting shares we manage on behalf of our clients is integral to our investment process.
We comply with the UK Stewardship Code and this is addressed further in our UK Stewardship Code Statement.
It is our policy to vote at all companies in which we have equity holdings, unless there are material impediments to voting (for example, share blocking which prevents the trading of shares which are voted). To maintain the necessary flexibility to meet client needs, Schroders' offices may determine a voting policy which addresses local market issues and client preferences.
The combination of numerous factors such as globalisation, changing political landscapes, ecosystem depletion, urbanisation, resource utilisation, demographics, climatic patterns, employee attitudes and consumer preferences creates challenging and changing markets in which companies operate. The assessment of how a company, and its management, generates long-term value through adapting to these changes and capturing the opportunities is enhanced through the analysis of corporate ESG disclosure and performance; as these will help inform on how a company’s strategy aligns with these macro issues.
There is increasing need for fund managers to explicitly demonstrate how these issues are integrated into the stock valuation and selection process. However this is still an embryonic area within RI and, at present, there is no standard definition of what integration should look, or be, like. We have identified three ways in which ESG data can be integrated in the investment process (though acknowledge that there are undoubtedly others):
We regard stewardship as integral to our investment process. Good stewardship is important to understanding the sustainable value of the companies in which we hold equity on behalf of our clients and provides a standard of behaviour that encourages the protection of the assets of our clients.
Our policy documents set out our approach to ownership and the governance of companies in which we hold equity investments. This note develops on that global policy and explains our compliance with the UK Stewardship Code.
Association of British Insurers - we are members and currently sit on the Investment Committee at the ABI.
Carbon Disclosure Project - This project was established to encourage the world's largest companies to improve their transparency on their exposure to climate change. Schroders is a signatory and special adviser to the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Institutional Investors group on Climate Change - The IIGCC was established to increase awareness about the risks and opportunities of climate change to investments within the investment industry and to encourage companies to provide more information on this. Schroders was a founding member of this group and lead the engagement work stream for two years.
UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association - UKSIF was established to promote responsible investment in the UK. Schroders is a member of UKSIF.
European Social Investment Forum - EUROSIF was established to promote responsible investment in Europe. Schroders is a member of EUROSIF.
UN Principles of Responsible Investment - The UNPRI were developed to encourage the continued development and adoption of responsible investment practices within the investment industry. Schroders is a signatory to the UNPRI.
Corporate Governance Forum - we are members of an informal group of UK institutions that takes the opportunity to discuss and share experiences on corporate governance issues and policies.
Access to Medicine Index - we support this research program which aims to provide a tool for investors and other stakeholders to assess and evaluate pharmaceutical access to medicine programs.