The Endowment was established in August 2005 to generate income from unfettered assets to support the College’s academic mission; this includes gifts made by donors which are restricted for a specific purpose as well as College assets that are formally confirmed as ‘Non-Core’ – i.e. assets that can be sold for cash, in extremis, without detriment to the academic mission.
The portfolio is managed as a unit trust vehicle, known as the Unitised Scheme, whereby investors across the College buy units and receive an annualised distribution whilst the overall value of the fund is maintained.
Since its inception, the Endowment's Unitised Scheme has grown from a founding capital of £69.3m as additional gifts, donations and ‘Non-Core’ assets have been transferred in and investment returns have been reinvested. The Endowment’s value as of 31 July 2021 was £567m.
The Endowment is current diversified across a range of asset classes including:
- Liquid marketable assets, including listed shares, stocks and bond. These are managed by external fund managers against an agreed investment mandate.
- Directly managed private real estate. The portfolio is weighted towards commercial property and investment is focused on West London.
- Investments in directly held private equity funds and listed private equity funds. This is currently composed of the College's legacy holding in IP Group as well as a small number of direct investments into private equity funds.
- A small proportion of the portfolio (~2%) is held as cash to ensure the Endowment has liquidity for six months of dstributions at any given time.