Investment management for charities

Carefully curated investment portfolios, balancing financial and charitable goals

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Identifying and implementing the right investment approach to meet the objectives of a charity or other non-profit organisation is a significant responsibility for trustees.

As a trustee, you need to ensure the organisation’s assets and investment portfolios are working in the best way possible to achieve both charitable and financial aspirations. This can be a complex balance.

At Evelyn Partners we can help.

Our specialist charities team has been working with charities to help shape their financial futures for generations, building long-term partnerships that ensure we understand not only your investment objectives but the philanthropic aims of your charity.

Building investment portfolios for charities

At Evelyn Partners our approach is based on the philosophy that each charity is unique, with its own distinct requirements. We liaise directly with executives and trustees to build bespoke investment portfolios that match each charity’s individual requirements, values and evolving goals.

Our investment team uses our robust investment process to build a portfolio that meets each charity’s specific needs. Within this, our investment philosophy rests on four key pillars:

  • Quality – our portfolios are focused on high quality and sustainable business models, based on our GASP criteria of investing in businesses that are Growing, Attractively Valued, Sustainable and Proven
  • Liquidity – portfolios need to be flexible in order to adapt to changing economic and market conditions
  • Diversification – well-diversified portfolios should add value both in rising and falling markets
  • Risk management – risk and return are two sides of the same coin. Good risk management starts with an in-depth understanding of each charity, starting with the risk register, reserves policy and on through to the investment policy, which is at the heart of everything we do

This philosophy permeates every aspect of our engagement with trustees and the delivery of our services. Ensuring that risk taken is intentional, transparent and clearly understood by all trustees is crucial and reflected in our reporting and regular reviews of investment policy.

ESG for charities

We recognise that effective management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is central to charitable investment requirements. Investment management should support charitable goals, rather than conflict with them. Our bespoke approach allows us to shape the portfolio to your specific needs. Trustees can take comfort in the fact that we incorporate both qualitative and quantitative factors, risk mitigation, the positive effects of impact investing, transparency of governance, good stewardship and engagement. We can report for each charity portfolio on a wide range of carbon emission metrics, ESG scoring and against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Trustees can work in collaboration with their investment manager to review the holdings in their portfolio regularly. Being actively involved allows us to engage directly with those businesses that are on the path to improving their ESG scores rather than immediately screening them out. This is an investment style that continues to evolve and remains at the heart of our investment ethos.

Evelyn Partners is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and, under our previous Smith & Williamson brand, the 2020 UK Stewardship Code.

Our range of services for charities

Our investment expertise covers both direct investments and funds. Combining tax and accountancy expertise with financial planning and investment management means that the range of services we can offer is unrivalled. With this breadth of knowledge, we can help our clients with a wide range of issues in addition to investment management including:

  • Staying up to date on best practice and new legislation
  • The risk register, reserves and investment policies
  • Income versus total return choices and structuring
  • Ethical, ESG and responsible investment considerations and reporting
  • Specialist tax areas including property and VAT advice
  • Corporate finance and M&A assistance
  • Trustee information and support, including ongoing training and guidance

Why choose Evelyn Partners to manage your charity’s investments?

At Evelyn Partners, our specialist knowledge and experience of the charities sector has built up over decades. We work with many of the UK’s largest charities and not-for-profit organisations and understand the unique requirements of managing investment portfolios for the sector. Today, we manage more than £3.3 billion for our charity clients.

Our relationships are led by individual investment managers, giving trustees direct access to the decision-makers on the portfolio. Our investment process is collegiate, long term and intellectually rigorous.

  • Our clients benefit from careful and sensitive stewardship of their capital and our experience as leaders of ethical and responsible investing
  • We take the time to understand your real investment objectives, risk tolerance, ethical and ESG constraints and actively manage the charity’s portfolio on your behalf
  • We understand the additional obligations of professional trustees and offer a high standard of reporting and performance analysis. Your investment manager will attend trustee meetings where required, and we provide ongoing training and guidance on topical issues affecting trustees
  • Our clients benefit from our robust asset allocation, investment selection and risk management process that has evolved over many years. It has proved effective in both rising and falling markets, helping preserve and grow our clients’ capital
  • Clients contact our investment managers and their teams directly. We like to meet regularly with our clients either in person or on video conferencing
  • We provide detailed quarterly updates and performance analysis packs and online access to valuations, transactions and other reporting

The value of investments, and the income from them, may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Past performance

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

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