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Public, private equity helps Wellcome Trust's investments gain 18pct

(Credit: Reuters/Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute/Handout) Researcher Magdalena Zarowiecki with tapeworm samples at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
December 18
5:57 AM 2013

The investments of Wellcome Trust gained 18% for the year ending in September 30 due to the help of public and private equity. The second largest medical charity in the world posted a gain of over £2.6 billion or $4.2 billion during the time period, Bloomberg reported.

Citing the annual report of the trust published today, Chairman William Castell said investments in public and private equity as well as in venture capital, residential property and hedge funds returned 15% to 20%. Wellcome Trust's five largest listed holdings were Marks & Spencer Group, Vodafone Group, HSBC Holdings, Toyota Motor Corp and Apple Inc, the report said.

The report also quoted Castell as saying, "Having significantly increased our exposure to public and private equity holdings in the years 2008 to 2011, when many investors had become risk-averse, we have reaped the rewards in the last two years as they have again embraced risk assets."

For its charitable activities in the covered period, the London-based trust spent a total of £726 million, majority of which were grants provided for medical research in the UK. Francis Crick Institute, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College London were five of the trust's largest recipients.

The report said the charity also has a rule of putting 4.7% of the three-year weighted average investment asset value to its yearly budget. Wellcome Trust intends to donate more than £3.7 billion in the next five years.

The terms of the will of Henry S. Wellcome created the trust in 1936. Wellcome was the co-founder of Burroughs Wellcome & Co, which was the predecessor of GlaxoSmithKline Plc. The trust helped in funding the Human Genome Project as well as in giving £120 million for the building of the Crick Institute. The report said that as far as all the medical research charities go, the trust's endowment is topped only by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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