The value of the funds held by the Wellcome Trust rose by £1.7bn in the year to 30 September 2014, its latest accounts show.
The accounts of the world’s second-biggest foundation – behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – show it held funds of £16.7bn at the end of its financial year, up from £15bn in September 2013, and from £13.3bn in September 2012.
Of the trust’s income of £338m in the year, £238.7 came from dividends earned from its investments, and interest. Slightly more than half of that came from dividends from overseas equities, and a quarter was from UK equities. The charity, which funds health, medical and biomedical research, also earned £60.1m in rental income, all from UK properties.
The trust’s charitable expenditure of £727.7m in the year was down from £772.9m the previous year, while management fees and other investment costs totalled £89m, a rise from £58.2m the year before.
The charity, which has by far the largest investment portfolio of any in England and Wales, according to Charity Commission figures, achieved net-realised and unrealised gains on its investments of £2.3bn in the year, marginally down on the year before, but much higher than the figure of £1.5bn in 2011/12, and £153m in 2010/11.
It is also the second-largest charity in terms of charitable expenditure, according to the commission – topped only by Arts Council England.
The trustee’s report portion of the accounts includes information on its investment policy. It says: "We invest globally and across a very broad range of assets and strategies. It is our policy not to invest in companies that derive material turnover or profit from tobacco or tobacco-related products."
The accounts also show that the trust’s highest-paid member of staff earned between £620,000 and £629,000 in the year. The top wage in the previous year was in the £590,000-£599,999 bracket. This individual is believed to be Danny Truell, chief investment officer at the trust, and previously a managing director of Goldman Sachs investment management division. However, in a 2013 report by Third Sector into the highest salaries in the charity sector – which found this individual to be the sector’s fourth highest-paid – the trust declined to confirm this.
The charity has the power to pay its trustees – or governors, as they are known at the Wellcome Trust – under its constitution in accordance with the will of its founder, Sir Henry Wellcome. The six governors who served the whole year received £70,024 in remuneration, while Sir William Castell, its chair, was paid £140,047 and Dame Kay Davies, deputy chair, received £105,036. These amounts were 1.1 per cent higher than the year before.