We are seeking to develop good practice as a foundation, both in relation to transparency concerning the sources of our funds, and an investment policy that does not contradict our grant-giving purposes or compromise basic ethical standards. We are aware that many of our grantees are rightly concerned about these issues. The following information is provided as part of our ongoing efforts to develop better alignment of our grant-giving work with our investment portfolio.
Polden-Puckham is a family trust with Quaker connections, and the assets that we hold have been given to the Foundation by some family members. The capital originated from (formerly) Quaker owned businesses, including Clarks shoes.
Investment Guidelines and Mission Related Investment (MRI)
Our guidelines on investment and investment Strategy (November 2014) can be downloaded here. You will see that we already exclude for example oil and gas companies, defence manufacturers, mining companies, producers of pornography, tobacco companies, and supermarkets from our portfolio. The guidelines and our ongoing investment practice are reviewed regularly. We are seeking to continue to raise the ethical standards of our investments from 2011 to 2016, although we recognise that this may reduce our grant-giving capabilities. It should be noted that our investment portfolio may include small holdings that fall outside our investment guidelines, which have been purchased for engagement purposes.
Our current investment managers are Rathbone Greenbank. They are well known in the field of ethical investment in UK, with a long track-record of using the holdings under their stewardship to push for corporate good practice. They have signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), and are assisting us to track the carbon intensity of our investments using data from the Carbon Disclosure Project and other sources. PPCF also has an investment in Clarks shoes, independently of our Rathbone Greenbank portfolio.
Top 10 investments
We recognise that not all of these companies exhibit the highest ethical standards in their practice. Investment in them reflects our efforts to balance maintaining a sustainable income with which to support our grantees, with our desire to invest as ethically as possible. Our largest investments on 1st May 2013 are shown below, with a few words on their background if you roll your mouse over them:
- Clarks Shoes (by far our largest investment with over 1/3 of our funds)
- Smith & Nephew PLC
- Ecclesiastical Investment Mgmt Amity Intl B Inc
- Glaxo Smith-Kline PLC
- Alliance Trust Asset Management
- Whitbread PLC
- BROWN ADVISORY FUNDS American SRI B Instl (USD)
- F&C FUND MGMT LTD Responsible Gbl Equity 2 Acc
- PRUDENTIAL PLC 5p Ordinary Shares
- FIRST STATE INVESTMENTS (UK) Asia Sustainability B Acc
PPCF also holds 10% of its investments in mission related investments.
Our accounts, which can be viewed here, show a full list of our investments last year. You are welcome to contact the Secretary at the email address below for further information about this issue. We would be pleased to hear from other organisations seeking to promote transparency in this field.
Note: Please note that this information is provided as a guide to our ongoing practice only, and does not constitute in any respect a commitment or guarantee on our part.