Biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust, London, returned 18.8%, or £3.5 billion ($4.4 billion), for the year ended Sept. 30 on strong global equity markets and sterling depreciation.
The endowment’s latest financial update showed assets rose to £20.9 billion vs. £18.3 billion at the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.
"The portfolio has again performed well in a difficult environment for many investors,” said Danny Truell, joint managing partner of the investment team, in a statement accompanying the update.
“The decision to reduce home country bias and to diversify assets and geographical exposure has borne fruit,” he added.
Over the course of the year, Wellcome Trust increased its public and private equity allocation by 2.5 and 1.3 percentage points, respectively, to 50.5% and 25.2%. The endowment also reduced its allocation to property to 10.2% from 12.9%; hedge funds to 10.7% from 11.8%; and cash to 3.4% from 3.9%. It also reported a small overlay allocation in 2015. “In the period, global public equity markets, in particular, returned 31% in sterling terms and 13% in dollar terms,” according to the financial update.
Cash payments in support of Wellcome Trust’s mission were £749 million, the endowment said in the update.
“Although future investment returns are unlikely to match recent experience, we remain confident that the portfolio should generate sufficient cash flows to insulate the trust from potentially more difficult conditions," Mr. Truell added.
Wellcome Trust changed its leadership structure recently, promoting Nick Moakes and Peter Pereira Gray to the roles of managing partners alongside Danny Truell, who earlier served as sole chief investment officer. They were previously managing directors.