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Statement of Investment Responsibility: Notice

20 July 2009

At its meeting on 16 June 2008 the Council approved a Statement of Investment Responsibility, commended by the Executive Committee and the Investment Board. Following the annual review of the operation of the policy by the Executive Committee, the Council has now agreed to publish for the information of the University the following revised version of the Statement of Investment Responsibility.

Background

1. The University's mission is 'to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence'. All the resources of the University are ultimately applied for this charitable purpose. Its core values include freedom of thought and expression and freedom from discrimination, as well as concern for environmental sustainability, as set out in the Council's Notice dated 12 November 2001 defining the University's mission and core values (Reporter, 2001-02, p. 226)

2. The University's investment assets are concentrated in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund.

3. The Council has established an Investment Board and an Investment Office. The Investment Board advises the Council on matters relating to the University's investments, working closely with the University's Investment Office. The Board proposes and agrees with the Council investment objectives and an investment strategy appropriate to those objectives. The Investment Office implements this strategy, in particular through the appointment and oversight of external investment managers.

4. The approach of the University, executed through the Investment Office, is primarily to invest indirectly. The investment portfolio is allocated between various asset classes (for example publicly traded equities, private equity, bonds, real assets, absolute return (hedge funds), corporate credit, and other fixed income). Investment will be made by fund managers specializing in each asset class appointed with a discretionary mandate to outperform within that asset class.

5. Therefore, securities in trading companies will only rarely be managed directly by the Investment Office, and will typically be held indirectly through investment in other funds (of public equities, private equities, hedge funds and other partnerships, and also index funds, exchange traded funds, and other vehicles). Of these indirect investments, a material proportion will not be readily marketable.

Statement of Investment Responsibility

6. The primary fiduciary responsibility of the Council in investing and managing the University's endowment and other investment assets is to maximize the financial return on those resources, taking into account the amount of risk appropriate for University investment policy. However, there are circumstances, described in Charity Commission guidance (in particular, the detailed guidance, CC14 - Investment of Charitable Funds (http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/supportingcharities/cc14full.asp)) and founded in judicial decisions, when the University may balance against its primary responsibility considerations of the ethical nature of investments. The Chief Investment Officer ensures that external investment managers are aware of the contents of this Statement of Investment Responsibility.

Operation

7. The Executive Committee of the Council is responsible for keeping the policy on investment responsibility under review. Without prejudice to its power to review the policy and its application at any time in so far as it considers it necessary to do so, the Committee will meet for this purpose with the University's Chief Investment Officer and Director of Finance at least once a year. The Socially Responsible Investment Officer of Cambridge University Students Union will be invited to attend these meetings. Any matters relating to the policy or its application should be addressed in writing to the Registrary.


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Cambridge University Reporter 23 July 2009
Copyright © 2009 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.