The CWI Fund is the flagship project of the NCCF designed to reduce suffering and enhance well-being in the nuclear community for at least the next fifteen years. In December we move from the Phase I funding to the Phase II funding which means that we will be using the interest gained from the invested endowment received from the Aged Veterans Fund.
When the endowment was awarded a series of conditions were placed on its use, we also had to develop an investment policy defining how we would best manage the funds to ensure a meaningful return was achieved for the beneficiaries.
The NCCF had two options:
- Setup an Investment Management Board and develop our own investment strategy engaging a number of financial experts to invest the fund and manage the return.
- Look to outsource this very
specialisedfunction with an organisationequipped to maximisethe fund return in an ethical and secure way.
We did not have the requisite skills within the Trustee Board to deliver option one, this would have meant specific recruitment of Investment Management Board members. The NCCF would have been exposed to considerable risk relying on a small number of individuals to manage the investment of the monies and there would also be a hefty price tag to attract individuals with the right skills to maximise the return.
Option two may possibly yield a lower return, however, investing with a long established organisation holding a proven track record in safe fund management was very appealing.
We were aware of the Armed Forces Common Investment Fund managed by Blackrock specifically for British Service charities. Following meetings with Blackrock it was decided that the AFCIF represented our best option.
Blackrock is the worlds largest investment corporation managing assets worth over £5.2 billion. In the UK it operates a number of funds specifically for charities. The Armed Forces Common Investment Fund has a Corporate Trustee and an independent Advisory Board, comprising representatives of participating charities and senior City individuals. It is the role of the Advisory Board to ensure that the manager adheres to its investment remit and achieves long-term performance. The investment objective of the Fund is to seek to achieve real growth (ahead of inflation) in capital and income over the long term by investment principally in equities and fixed income securities.
We invested the endowment in the Blackrock AFCIF in December 2017. Using the residual funding from the Phase I Care & Wellbeing Fund we managed to address all applications in the following year. This allowed time for the entire endowment to mature and begin producing a decent return.
As we approach the first year of Phase II support we are happy to announce that the return of the last 12 months has provided ample funds to run the CWI Fund for the coming 12 months without any depletion of the capital amount.
Bearing in mind we are still in a relatively depressed investment economy this is very good news as the return can only improve as interest rates rise.
The sagacity of using Blackrock has been clearly proven and we believe the fund will easily satisfy the 15-year requirement and should even become perpetual.