WELSH CHURCH ACT ESTATE COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 2nd March, 2015.
Present: Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman); Councillor A.G. Powell (Vice-Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, C.P. Franks, H.C. Hamilton, K.P. Mahoney and R.P. Thomas.
920 MINUTES -
RESOLVED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 15th December, 2014 be approved as a correct record.
921 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
922 REPORT FROM J. LORD (TOWRY LTD) -
The Committee received a report, presented by Julie Lord, Senior Client Partner for Towry Ltd in relation to the Rebalancing of the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Portfolio.
At the meeting on the 29th September, 2014 Ms Lord provided the Committee with a verbal update on the Trust’s Investment Portfolio, managed by Towry Ltd. The Committee was informed that there had been growth of just over 4% in the past year, therefore a rebalance of the Trust’s investments was needed to ensure that they were still in line with the Trustee’s objectives and stated attitude to risk. It was also confirmed that the cash levels of the Portfolio were at a high level due to liquidated assets in the past year and as it was earning little interest it should be reinvested.
At the meeting on 29th September, 2014 the Committee resolved (Minute No. 429):
'THAT – Towry Ltd’s proposals to re-balance the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Fund portfolio be considered at a future meeting.'
The Welsh Church Act stated that income from the funds invested should be devoted to charitable or alms giving purposes. The Welsh Church Act Estate Trust’s investment objectives were to achieve growth in excess of inflation in order that it could continue to make charitable distributions for many years to come. The Trust’s investments that Towry Ltd was recommending on were established on 23rd August, 2006 with an initial investment of £350,000.
The Committee was provided with updated figures for the Portfolio’s performance since the meeting in September, 2014. The opening balance at 1st January, 2014 was £874, 204, the closing balance at 31st December, 2014 was £920,806, withdrawals totalled £23,750 and the net gain was £70,352.
The Committee was apprised in relation to the makeup of the investments of the current Portfolio, which totalled £919,684.57. Due to the growth of the Portfolio’s investments and the increase in cash holdings (due to liquidating assets), the investments were no longer in line with the Trustee’s risk profile and therefore a rebalance of the Trust’s assets was required.
The Committee was provided with the recommendations for the rebalance of the Trust’s Investment Portfolio. Ms. Lord informed the Committee that their team of investment specialists had designed the rebalance of the Trust’s Investment Portfolio for clients with a moderate attitude to risk, who required regular income, which matched their existing profile. Going forward, the Trust’s fund would be split across the following main asset classes:
- Commercial Property
- International Bond
- Other International Equity
- UK Bond
- UK Equity.
Ms. Lord confirmed that in September 2014 the value of the Portfolio stood at approximately £911,000; this had subsequently increased to a current value of approximately £943,000. Approximately £78,000 was in cash holdings which was too much and needed to be reinvested.
Following discussions of the release of Cash from the portfolio it was advised that, the investments constituted the permanent endowment of the Trust and that any change in the Trust’s objectives and any release of investment funds from the Portfolio, other than income earnt on the investments would need the permission of the Charity Commission.
A Member of the Committee noted that the Capital Investments had increased by approximately £32,000 in the last six months and queried how they had performed in the six months prior to that. Ms. Lord advised that these investments had outperformed the stock market; the return had been approximately 4% over the previous 12 months and had generated more income than cash investments and inflation.
Ms. Lord further advised that the approach Towry Ltd used was not to try and time the markets and to keep the Portfolio on a broad 50/50 balance, split between investment in stock markets and other asset classes.
RESOLVED - T H A T the Portfolio be rebalanced as indicated within the report and the necessary Authority to Proceed in accordance with the above be signed by the Head of Legal Services.
Reason for decision
To secure the Welsh Church Act Estate investments in accordance with the advice of its Investment advisors.
923 APPLICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 2014/15 (MD) -
Committee received a report to consider an application for financial assistance from the Welsh Church Act Estate.
Appendices attached to the report detailed the charitable purposes for which the Welsh Church Act fund may make grants, a summary of the application to be considered and the fund’s revenue estimates for the current financial year.
The sum of £39,000 had been provided for grants in the Trust’s revenue estimates 2014/15. Adjusted total grants approved to date totalled £34,200 with the additional grant included in the report, totalled grants allocated in 2014/15 was £35,200.
RESOLVED - T H A T the application for financial assistance as detailed below be approved:
Name of Organisation
Specific Purpose for Which Grant Requested
St. Cattwg, Llanmaes, Llantwit Major
Restoration of Plinth to Preaching Cross (estimated cost £11k+)
Reason for decision
In furtherance of the objectives of the Trust.