Improving health through investing in homes
As part of our impact investment strategy, we're helping to provide over 300 secure homes to help families lead healthier, more resilient lives.
We set our endowment dual objectives: financial returns and health impact.
We are the custodian of one of the largest charitable endowments in the UK. In our role as an investor, we are working towards a portfolio where our investments achieve both financial returns and health impact.
We combine mainstream and impact investments that aim for both a sustainable financial return and a measurable impact on health.
Our mainstream investing portfolio predominantly invests in funds, including a number that are healthcare-related. A combination of in-house and external financial expertise, including our dedicated Investment Committee, ensures these investments combine competitive returns. We invest carefully and for the long-term, maintaining a diversified portfolio across asset classes and geographies.
We manage our investments on a long-term basis. Each year we transfer around 4% of the value of our endowment to fund our charitable work. Learn more about our investment rule.
in financial investments
of our investments are in healthcare and biotechnology
We believe that building a healthier society requires responsible business practices.
We aim for all our investments to meet recognised ethical, environmental and governance standards and to be consistent with our values and our need to generate financial returns.
Today, we consider the impact of our investments on issues like climate change, and work to ensure we only invest in funds that operate in line with the United Nations Global Compact.
We also choose not to invest directly in tobacco-related shares, bonds or property, and monitor carefully to keep any indirect investments in tobacco down to below 0.25% of our endowment.
Through our emerging investment engagement strategy, we are working to improve corporate and investment behaviours. This involves sharing insights and encouraging investors and businesses to create the conditions that support more equitable health. For example, ensuring the investment chain works to increase the availability of healthy foods in the food industry, broaden the adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) approaches, and improve diversity in the industry.
We belong to several responsible investing networks and initiatives, and are looking to join others to help us reach Net Zero in our portfolio as soon as possible. We are currently members of:
These networks open wider opportunities for us to achieve health impact. For example, in partnership with ShareAction, we launched the Healthy Markets campaign which harnesses the power of the investment system to influence food and drink manufacturers to support healthier options for consumers.
Our impact investment strategy is driven by a commitment to make more of our capital work for our mission.
Impact investments are defined by an intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. In 2018, we allocated 5% of our endowment assets, around £50 million, for our emerging impact investing portfolio. We want to demonstrate that investing in health is good business.
We run our impact investing activities from our endowment, rather than from its regular proceeds. This is because our ambition is to scale this work.
We are a permanent endowment, which means we keep the majority of our resources in investments. By testing whether we can deploy significant investments through an impact-lens, we are really asking ourselves whether we can deploy all of our investments in this way.
Through our portfolio of impact investments, we are backing bold ideas to come to issues from different angles – whether pioneering medical technology or helping to address social determinants of health like housing.
committed to impact investments to date
committed to impact investments in the previous financial year
There are three guiding pillars for our impact investing work:
To support our investments, we also strive to deepen our understanding of the UK’s major health challenges and to identify promising solutions and the fund managers behind them. We forge strong, collaborative partnerships with fund managers. To add value to these relationships and to help position our investments for success, we also invest non-financial resources, including taking on advisory positions and offering health expertise.