Big rise in the value of Trust’s investments
The value of Shetland Charitable Trust’s investment funds increased by £40 million in the last financial year, a return of almost 20 per cent.
However, concern about the volatility of financial markets remains high – while returns were good this year they were only 0.1 per cent in 2015-16 – with fund managers predicting only moderate growth in the years ahead.
A marked improvement in equities markets around the world lay behind the most recent rise, driven in the UK by the weakness of the pound.
When withdrawals to support the arts, heritage, leisure and social care in Shetland are taken into account, the value of the Trust’s investments at the end of March this year stood at £232 million.
The Trust disbursed £8.37 million for the benefit of people of all ages in all parts of Shetland during the year.
“Despite all the political upheavals in the world, the markets have performed well over the past year and the Trust’s investments have made very healthy returns,” said SCT Chairman Bobby Hunter.
“But as we know from experience, the markets can fall and that can mean the numbers don’t look so good.
“It’s important to look at the long-term performance of the investments when we are assessing our financial strategy.”
Last year the Trust adopted a new investment strategy, designed to increase returns, which resulted in Baillie Gifford being handed the mandate to manage half of its equities in an active equity fund.
BlackRock, Schroders and Insight manage the remaining reserves in equity, property and diversified growth funds.
The new approach, devised with the support of financial consultancy Mercer, is part of an overall financial strategy which will help the Trust achieve its goal of financial sustainability by 2020.
For further information, please contact Paul Riddell of Platform Shetland on 07739 750543, 01595 697296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Shetland Charitable Trust is one of the largest such trusts in Scotland. The value of its investments is currently around £260m, with £232m invested in the world’s markets and £23m in the local economy. The remainder is net current assets.
Funded originally by Shetland Islands Council’s “disturbance payments” from the oil industry between 1976 and 2000, the Trust now relies entirely on its investment income.
The trust formerly comprised all councillors plus two independents. This changed in 2012 and again in 2017 and it is now a completely separate organisation from the council, with a built-in majority of independent trustees.
Shetland Charitable Trust owns three companies: Shetland Leasing and Property Developments Ltd (SLAP); Shetland Heat Energy and Power Ltd (SHEAP); and SCT Renewables Ltd.
Registered Charity No. SC 027025
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