The Wolfson Foundation’s investments are managed on the basis of existing in perpetuity and hence we have the objective of maintaining the portfolio’s real purchasing power after inflation over time. We allocate funding on a total return (rather than income) basis. The long-term investment objective is an average annual total return of UK CPI + 4%. The current portfolio value is approximately £850 million for the Wolfson Foundation and £40 million for the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust (a separate trust which shares the administration of the Foundation).
The Trustees aim to distribute at least 4% of the funds on an annual basis, which has broadly equated to £35 million over recent years.
In order to achieve the target total returns, the Trustees accept a medium risk on the management of the portfolio, and have recently taken steps to diversify underlying investments further, in particular investing in private equity and alternative assets.
Responsible investment underpins our investment strategy, and is a key factor in the selection of our fund managers. We work with our fund managers to take into consideration environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and consider that our charitable objectives apply to our investment as well as our grant-making.