Wellcome Trust paid its highest earner more than £3.7m last year

The charity's accounts show that its in-house investment team grew its investment income from £354.1m to £386.3m in the year to 30 September

Wellcome Trust
Wellcome Trust

The highest-paid person at the health charity the Wellcome Trust received a salary of more than £3.7m in the year to 30 September 2017, the charity’s latest accounts show.

The highest salary, which was classified in the accounts as between £3.7m and £3.71m, was for an unidentified member of the charity’s investment team, and was £700,000 higher than that paid to the highest earner listed in last year’s accounts.

Four other members of the charity’s investment team earned more than £1m in the year covered by the accounts, and a total of 26 people in the investment team earned more than £100,000.

The accounts show that the charity’s in-house investment team grew Wellcome’s investment income from £354.1m to £386.3m in the year to 30 September.

The charity declined to name any of those receiving the highest salaries.

The chief investment officer at the charity during the time covered by the latest accounts was Danny Truell, who left his role in October this year, citing health grounds.

Truell, who was appointed to a new non-executive position of emeritus partner, has been replaced by Nick Moakes as chief investment officer.

The total amount of pay for the charity’s investment executive team was £8.9m, compared with £6.7m the previous year, the accounts show.

The charity had a total income of £425.3m, and spent £1.3bn, according to the accounts. But when net realised and unrealised gains on investments of £2.8bn are taken into account, the charity had a surplus of £2.3bn in the year covered by the latest accounts.

The trust has funds of almost £21.9bn, an almost £2.3bn increase on the previous year, the accounts say.

In a statement, the charity said that having its own in-house investment team saved hundreds of millions of pounds in fees that would otherwise be paid to external investment managers and which could be reinvested in its charitable activities.

The statement said the salaries were supported by bonuses and long-term incentive plans linked to the performance of the charity’s portfolio.

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."

The charity’s portfolio had a return of 16.9 per cent in the year covered by the latest accounts, which represents an annual return of 9.1 per cent over the past decade.

In comparison, the UK’s consumer price index increased by 2.4 per cent annually in that period.

The charity has also increased its spending on its charitable activities to more than £1.1bn, which is its highest-ever expenditure on these areas and double what the charity was spending a decade ago.

Baroness Manningham-Buller, chair of the Wellcome Trust, said: "I am pleased to report that, once again, our investments have done well and enabled us to commit to maintaining charitable expenditure in real terms at record levels. The level of spending is now double that of a decade ago, which puts Wellcome in the top tier of global funding organisations."

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