JRRT’s funding is mainly generated from an investment portfolio managed by Rathbone Greenbank.
In 2021, JRRT Board reviewed its ethical investment policy in light of current debates on sustainability and our statement on the origins of the Trust’s endowments.
The policy retains existing exclusions (armaments, alcohol, gambling, tobacco and pornography) which reflect our Quaker heritage.
The revised policy strengthens the emphasis on sustainability. Recognising climate change as a high-level risk to our investments and to the pursuit of our long-term aims, we do not invest in extractive, carbon-based companies and seek investments that support a just transition to a post-carbon economy.
The policy has been further strengthened to encourage diversity, equity and inclusion and take account of Modern Slavery.
While there is growing confidence that there does not need to be a long term trade-off between responsible investment and financial returns, alignment of our portfolio has come with a significant short-term financial cost to JRRT. As a non-charitable entity, aligning the investment portfolio to the policy by 2024 will incur a significant tax bill, estimated at between £3 and £4 million.
In 2021 the Board agreed to increase its drawdown rate from 4% to up to 7%, to be reviewed after three years, to support additional grant funding in the context of the deteriorating health of UK democracy.
Our full investments policy can be downloaded here.