Trusts & Charities

CHARITIES

 

Charities face a dilemma common to all not for profit organisations. Although their voluntary ethos remains at their heart, they have to be run in a commercial way like any business. This is also true for individuals within the organisation. Even though the roles of some staff are unpaid they still carry with them responsibilities. This is particularly so for the Trustees.

 

These responsibilities are amplified in the performance of their investment activities. The additional legal and governance requirements mean the organisation will be almost permanently engaged in a financial high-wire act. Having to balance its needs and resources in a legally compliant and transparent way, whilst delivering the investment returns needed to help sustain its day to day activities and support new projects.

Acting as consultants, we provide a competent and independent resource to support the organisation. Focused on ensuring compliance with governance responsibilities, and on demonstrating a coherent strategy is in place relating to the management of its investment activities. Furthermore, showing that these matters are reviewed on a regular ongoing basis to ensure they remain appropriate.

 

Governance

A key objective of our advisory role would be to review, identify and resolve any governance issues in relation to its internal process, documentation, compliance and ongoing oversight of its investment activities.  

The outcome of this process would be to ensure an appropriate governance structure is in place which is robust, defensible and reflects best practice.

Investment policy

The other key objective of our advisory role is ensure the investment strategy reflects the financial needs of the organisation, taking into account its attitude to investment risk and any limitations it wishes to place on investment freedom of the manager as a consequence of any ethical policy.

 

TRUSTS

 

The Trustee Act 2000 introduced important new duties for trustees. They must ensure that the trust investments are properly diversified and are suitable to the objectives of the trust.

However, trustees are warned against exercising their own amateur investment skills. The Act requires them to take proper investment advice from an appropriately qualified person, except in circumstances where the trustees reasonably conclude that in all the circumstances this is unnecessary or inappropriate. They can also delegate their investment management functions. However, they must ensure that portfolios are kept under regular review.  

Suitability of investments includes suitability of investment vehicles, and in this respect account must be taken of the effect of very high levels of tax levied on the income from equity investments held by discretionary trusts. This can be minimised by the use of investment bonds in preference to collective investments or individual securities.

Acting as consultants, we provide a competent and independent resource to support trustees. Focused on ensuring compliance with their governance responsibilities, and on demonstrating a coherent strategy is in place relating to the management and ongoing supervision of their investment activities.

 

 

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We understand that those with fiduciary responsibility for trust and charity money are often under pressure to maxamise the sustainable income from their investments, at a time when other sources of income may be under pressure.

Sean Walsh
Investment & Advice Director

Ergowealth is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are an independent, fee-based chartered financial planning firm. Our chartered status recognises our professional business standards. Consequently you can be confident that your reputation and the best interests of your charity or trust are safe in our hands.