Charities in focus
CHARITY ROUND TABLE
Our charity clients are an important and growing area of our business and, with over £500 million of assets under management and advice on behalf of charities, we are privileged to work with a broad variety of charities thanks, in part, to our client-driven approach.
In our experience, charity trustees welcome a proactive approach to a relationship with their chosen investment manager, which of course sees them look for a robust investment approach, top quality service, and clear and concise reporting. But given that many trustees are not from an investment background and charities themselves often don’t want to get weighed down with administrative issues, we place a focus on providing trustee support over and above the usual investment communication.
In November, the Charities Team hosted a round table with a group of trustees from fifteen different charities to discuss the challenges faced by charities in this low interest rate, politically uncertain environment. Following a presentation on the global economy, much of the subsequent discussion was, given the timing of the event, focussed on the election of Donald Trump and the decision to leave the EU.
Whilst the general mood was relatively upbeat, there were justified concerns over the implications of Brexit and Trump, although the general consensus was that it was too early to make any firm forecasts. Not surprisingly, given that income is often a charity’s primary investment objective, the group also discussed income opportunities available across different asset classes and all agreed that the continued search for income remained a challenge.
All participants agreed that it was a very productive and interactive session and hopefully the charities involved learnt something from one another whilst enjoying the hospitality of JM Finn & Co’s in-house dining. Further events are planned for later in the year, so do please get in touch if you are a trustee and it is something that might interest you.
Other areas where we look to help charities
We work closely with trustees, treasurers and administrators to ensure the smooth-running of all administrative and financial aspects of the charity. Our flexible approach enables us to send instant transaction and cash ow statements in a useful medium to assist with a charity’s internal administration. In addition, all trustees are able to view the portfolio valuation online including all account documentation; this provides a detailed and transparent overview of the portfolio 24/7.
All our charity clients are welcome to use our meeting rooms and catering facilities at our head office at 4 Coleman Street in London, as well as at any one of our regional offices in Bury St Edmunds, Bristol, Leeds and Cardiff.
We look to engage with our charity clients on multiple levels: not only do we try to help with their fundraising where appropriate, but we also look to support these charities by sponsoring events if we feel they align with our own internal corporate, social and responsibility (CSR) guidelines.
To find out more about our investment management services for charities, please contact your investment manager or the specialist charities team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Common Reporting Standard – is your charity affected?
If your charity gets more than 50% of its income from investments, then you may well be affected by the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), and have reporting obligations to HMRC (by 31st May 2017). The regulation is aimed at financial institutions, which includes banks, custodians, depositaries, insurance companies and investment entities. It is the latter that might include some charities. We do not believe the new legislation is overly onerous however, and whilst we are unable to give tax advice, if you would like a more general discussion on the CRS and its implications for charities, then please do get in touch.