Kate Rogers: I beat the 'Brump' with a raft of new developments

Three 'shiny new charity investment policies' are highlighted by our columnist

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, it is tempting to take inspiration from the Danes and embrace all things "hygge". There is no direct translation, but I'm picturing a cosy room surrounded by family and good food. I'll draw the curtains, stick a log on the fire and hide away from the Brexit-fuelled, Trump-filled media and markets, which I call "Brump".

But no, there are lots of positive new developments in the charity investment world to keep me getting on the train each morning. And I thought that, instead of adding to the column inches dedicated to "Brump", I would highlight a few shiny new charity investment policies that have emerged.

I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Foundation Giving Trends, research from the Association of Charitable Foundations on giving, income and assets in the top 300 UK independent charitable foundations. These 300 control more than a quarter of the assets in the voluntary sector and, with £54bn of investments, they are a key part of the charity investor population. The report paints a positive picture for investment asset growth over the past five years, no doubt helped by the strength in equity, bond and property markets. But even more encouraging was the reported growth in investment income, at 12 per cent over the past year, proving incredibly helpful in offsetting falling voluntary income. I commend the report to you - it is free to download from the ACF website.

Hot on the heels of the ACF report, the Charities Aid Foundation announced its intention to launch a new digital platform for charity investments, the only one dedicated to the sector. The CAF Investment Account means that charities will be able to research, manage and trade investments in one place, and it brings charity investment into the digital age.

And as if that was not enough for one month, the most excitement-inducing development for me was the launch of the charity authorised investment fund. Much anticipated by investment managers and a culmination of more than two years of my own work, alongside the Charity Law Association and the Investment Association, this new fund structure will, I hope, bring three benefits to the charity investment world. The first, an improvement in regulatory oversight, is important for the protection of charity investors. Existing charity funds are unregulated, whereas new funds will be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The second benefit should be an increase in choice for charity investors. It is our intention to launch a new ethical multi-asset fund, and I'm sure many other managers will also be expanding their product ranges. Increasing competition and a wider selection of products can only be a good thing for charities.

The third benefit of charity authorised investment funds goes directly to the sector's bottom line, through a reduction in cost, because these funds are exempt from VAT on investment management fees. A back-of-the-envelope calculation based on current charity fund values and fees puts this potential saving for charity investors at about £12m a year, easily enough to get me over the "Brump" and out of bed on a cold autumn day.

Kate Rogers is head of policy at Cazenove Charities

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