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Finance and Annual Reports

College Finances

The College’s overall financial objective is to ensure that its primary educational and research functions are managed cost-effectively and supported by robust and well managed financial resources, which will sustain its activities in perpetuity.  Operational responsibility for achieving this objective rests with the Senior Bursar and the Finance Committee, with the College Council, as the trustees of the College as a charity, being ultimately accountable for good financial management.

It costs about £17 million per annum to run the College.  We are a charity and by law we can only spend money on our charitable objects which are the pursuit of education, religion, learning and research. Our main costs are education (teaching, supervisions, student support and research) and residences (providing accommodation, maintaining our historic buildings and catering).

About £10 million of these costs are funded by income from fees, rents, catering and conferences. The rest are covered by the Endowment and donations. Every year we subsidise each student by approximately £5,000, over £4 million in total.

Financial strategy

In order to sustain the College in perpetuity, we must maintain the purchasing power of the Endowment, secure strong income streams from donations and the conference business and control annual expenditure. If these components are correctly balanced, the College is more likely to achieve long term financial sustainability and an equitable balance between current and future members.

The College Council has approved the following guiding principles to achieve this balance:

i) The Endowment needs to be increased to £300m;
ii) The Endowment withdrawal rate should be reduced to 2%;
iii) Donations should be used to build the endowment and not to fund current year activities, other than the annual fund.
iv) Donations will, however, be sought strategically to support specific restricted projects including capital projects and student support;
v) Domestic and catering operations should be structured to ensure that annual expenditure does not exceed annual income, such that endowment income supports the charitable objects (education, religion, learning and research) of the College;
vi) The annual expenditure budget will include sufficient spending to maintain existing residences. Very large capital projects will be funded by borrowing from the Endowment or, if appropriate, from a commercial lender, or from benefaction.

The Endowment

The College’s investments are often referred to as the Endowment. At 30 June 2019 the Endowment was worth £227 million and was invested in property (direct holdings in the agricultural, retail and commercial sectors) and a diversified financial portfolio (equity, private equity, hedge funds and fixed income).

The purpose of the Endowment is to support the operating and capital needs of the College in perpetuity and it currently contributes about one third of the College’s total income. The College Council estimates that the Endowment needs to grow to £300 million because the College has grown significantly in the past fifty years so the Endowment is having to work harder to meet the College’s financial needs. 

The College is advised in its financial investments by (i) Partners Capital which invests via a wide variety of other funds and (ii) the COIF Charities Investment Fund managed by CCLA Investment Management. These arrangements mean that the College holds no direct investment in individual companies. Property investments, which are principally freeholds acquired over many centuries, are managed by Bidwells as agents with the assistance of other specialist agents. Further information on the College’s management of its endowment investments and its Statement of Investment Responsibly including information on fossil fuels and other ('ESG') matters is included here.

Funding / income

The income and expenditure of the College is described in detail in the College’s Accounts covering each financial year from 1 July to 30 June.

Audited financial accounts for the most recent five years are shown below. The accounts are also made available via the Cambridge University Reporter and are filed with the Charity Commission.

2014-15
2015-16
2016-17
2017-18
2018-19

Budgetary and account information

The College Accounts are available as above.

Financial audit reports

Copies of the independent auditors’ annual reports to the Governing Body may be found in the College Accounts.

Copies of the independent auditors’ annual management letters are available upon request, twelve months after receipt.

Capital programme

Capital expenditure is approved on an ad hoc basis in the light of priorities and resources.

Financial regulations and procedures

The College’s financial regulations and procedures are laid out in the Statutes and Ordinances of the College which are available upon request. They are supplemented by internal procedures and instructions.

The terms of reference of the Finance Committee are available upon request.

Staff pay and grading structures

For further information on pay, grading and other staff schemes please contact the human resources manager.

Register of suppliers

The College does not have an approved list of suppliers, but in order to obtain best value for money engages in various consortium purchasing arrangements. The details of those arrangements are not included in this publication scheme for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Procurement and tender procedures and reports

The College is not a public authority for the purpose of European Law relating to tendering requirements. Its normal practice in relation to capital works is to procure them through a tendering process.

Contracts

The College does not publish details of its commercial contracts.

Research funding

The College funds its own scheme of Research Fellowships, details of which are available on request or here.

It also supports a number of Research Studentships, details of which are available at www.cai.cam.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance and www.cai.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/overseas.