Biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust, London, returned 16.9%, or £3.5 billion ($4.7 billion), for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 on gains in its equity portfolio, it said in a financial update Tuesday.
The endowment's latest financial update showed assets rose 11% to £23.2 billion from £20.9 billion a year earlier.
Wellcome Trust's £13.5 billion equity portfolio returned 19.6%, ahead of the benchmark MSCI All Country World index, which returned 15.5%. Private equity stood at £6.2 billion as of Sept. 30. Large buyout investments returned 21.6%, medium buyout investments returned 12.9%, specialist deals returned 18.5% and venture capital added a 6% return for the year. Hedge funds stood at £2.4 billion and returned 13.2% in the same period. Property stood at £2.2 billion and returned 4.4% .
Wellcome Trust also increased directly managed allocations to 51.8% from 45.3% a year earlier.
"Our investments have done well. The performance of the endowment has enabled us to commit to maintaining charitable expenditure in real terms at record levels. The level of spending is now double that of a decade ago, which puts Wellcome in the top tier of global funding organizations," said Elizabeth Manningham-Buller, chairwoman of the charity, in a release accompanying the update.