Highest earner at Wellcome Trust was paid £3.3m in 2018/19

The Wellcome Trust paid its highest earner almost £3.3m in 2018/19, its latest accounts show.

The grant-maker’s accounts for the year to 30 September 2019 show the charity’s highest earner – a member of its internal investment team – took home almost £3.3m, with a second employee earning between £3.25m and £3.259m.

Both figures outstrip last year’s highest remuneration package at the charity, which was £3.17m.

The charity confirmed that the three highest earners in 2018/19 were: Nick Moakes, chief investment officer and managing partner; Peter Pereira Gray, chief executive of the investments division and managing partner; and Danny Truell, the former CIO, who died in September 2019.

The Wellcome Trust did not confirm which of the three received the highest salary.

The charity’s highest earners are the highest-paid people in the voluntary sector by a considerable margin, according to research by Third Sector.  

In total, six members of the investment team each earned more than £1m for the year, with another 21 paid more than £100,000 each in 2018/19, according to the accounts.

The charity’s total income for the year was £481m, compared with £484.8m in the previous year, and £1.2bn was spent on charitable activities, up from £638.1m the previous year.

The charity’s investment base, which was worth £26.8bn at the end of the year, grew by almost £2bn over the course of the year, compared with a rise of £2.6bn the year before.

The accounts show the charity’s total funds increased by more than £1bn in 2018/19 to £25.2bn.

In a statement, the charity said its decision to manage its investment portfolio internally meant that it had saved money on paying external asset managers while delivering a 209 per cent cumulative increase in its investment portfolio since 2009.

The investment team are remunerated in line with normal practice in the asset-management sector, the charity’s statement said, including performance-based payments on top of basic salaries in the form of annual bonuses or long-term incentive plans.

The charity said projects that had been funded because of the success of its investment strategy included the first successful patient trial of an Ebola vaccine, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, one of the world’s leading centres for reading and understanding the human genome, and the Francis Crick Institute, the largest biomedical research centre in Europe.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Wellcome’s decision to manage much of our endowment ourselves has achieved exceptional returns over many years while saving hundreds of millions of pounds in investment management fees.

"By paying our outstanding investment team in a way that is competitive for the sector and linked to portfolio performance, Wellcome gets better returns and has more to spend on our charitable mission of improving health."

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