Press release

Standard & Poor's reaffirms Wellcome Trust's AAA credit rating

The Wellcome Trust announced today that its AAA (stable) credit rating has been reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s. The Trust continues to be rated Aaa (stable) by Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s). These ratings are the highest available from both agencies and are reflective of the Wellcome Trust investment portfolio’s high levels of liquidity, low levels of leverage and its continued outperformance against financial markets.

In 2006, the Wellcome Trust became the first UK charity to be awarded the AAA and Aaa ratings from Standard & Poor's and Moody's, respectively, and has subsequently issued £825 million of long-dated sterling-denominated debt.

The Wellcome Trust has more than 25 years' experience of owning a highly diversified financial investment portfolio. The investment base was valued at £14.5 billion at 30 September 2012. Since the portfolio's inception in 1985, it has delivered a 3133 per cent return.

From 1 October 1985 (when it took on its modern form) to the end of September 2012, the Trust had spent more than £10 billion. It now spends around £650 million each year to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health and expects to spend £3.5 billion over the next five years.

Danny Truell, Chief Investment Officer at the Wellcome Trust, said: "The continued strong support by both Standard & Poor's and Moody's for our stable AAA/Aaa credit rating is most encouraging. Our investment return of 145 per cent over the past decade* has enabled us to increase our charitable expenditure significantly at a time when other sources of research funding have come under pressure.

"We invest in public equities and illiquid investments such as venture capital, private equity, residential property and hedge funds; as the agencies report, much of our investment risk is mitigated through diversification and a long-term investment horizon.

"As Professor John Kay’s excellent report recently confirmed, long-term investment must be encouraged: in particular, we encourage the management of the 80 or so public and private companies in which we have long-term direct holdings to adopt commensurate long-term views in planning their business strategies."

*Figure to September 2012.