Press release

Wellcome Trust announces 2015/16 annual results

Wellcome Trust and Wellcome Trust Finance plc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Wellcome Trust) announce that they have each published their Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year to 30 September 2016 today. A copy of each document is available on the Wellcome Trust website.

Wellcome Trust has today issued the following press release in connection with the publication of its Annual Report and Financial Statements:

The Wellcome Trust is pleased to report that our investment portfolio recorded a total return of 18.8 per cent for the year to 30 September 2016, equating to £3.5 billion on an investment portfolio value of £18.3 billion at the start of the year. Cash payments in support of our mission were £749 million and the investment base rose to £20.9 billion.

We have returned over £13.5 billion (129 per cent cumulative, 10.9 per cent annualised) in the eight years since the start of the global financial crisis in September 2008, recording positive returns in each of these years. Returns have been 138 per cent cumulative (9.1 per cent annualised) over ten years and 446 per cent cumulative (8.9 per cent annualised) over 20 years. Since the inception of our investment portfolio in 1985, it has provided a total return averaging 13.8 per cent a year. We maintain a AAA/aaa (stable) credit rating.

Depending on actual investment returns, we aim to be able to commit at least £5 billion to our charitable mission over the next five years.

This year, we enjoyed double-digit returns from every asset class except property. Each major element of the portfolio (public equities, private equities, venture capital, hedge funds and property) has performed strongly over the longer term.  Returns in Sterling were boosted by the sharp depreciation seen after the Brexit vote as we maintained the vast majority of our overseas exposure unhedged.

Baroness Manningham-Buller, Chair of the Trust, said: "I am pleased to report that, once again, our investments have done well, building on past investment decisions, and despite a turbulent market. Our charitable expenditure is now over 50 per cent more a year than it was five years ago in 2011 and more than double that of a decade ago."

Danny Truell, Managing Partner of the Investment Division at the Trust, added: "The portfolio has again performed well in a difficult environment for many investors.  The decision to reduce home country bias and to diversify assets and geographical exposure has borne fruit.  Although future investment returns are unlikely to match recent experience, we remain confident that the portfolio should generate sufficient cash flows to insulate the Trust from potentially more difficult conditions."

With the investment portfolio having grown in complexity over time and with more assets managed in-house, we have continued to strengthen our team, largely through internal promotions.  To this end, we have recently moved away from having a sole Chief Investment Officer and have promoted Nick Moakes and Peter Pereira Gray to the roles of Managing Partners alongside Danny Truell, who remains a key part of the team.