Finance and Annual Reports
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. Responsibility for achieving this objective rests with the Senior Bursar and the Finance Committee, with the College Council 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, just over £4 million in total.
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 approximately doubled in size (from its June 2014 valuation of £151m).
ii) The College should aim to reduce the percentage of the Endowment which is taken as income over the next ten years.
iii) Donations, with the exception of donations to the annual fund, should as far as possible, be used to build the Endowment and not to fund current year activities.
iv) Operational activities such as accommodation and catering should be structured to ensure that annual expenditure does not exceed annual income.
v) 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.
The College’s investments are often referred to as the Endowment. At 30 June 2018 the Endowment was worth £221 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 College also invests in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund. Annualised return since 2005 has been 9% against a target of 7%.
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 by £150-£200 million from its June 2014 valuation of £151 million. This is 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. We expect reduced investment returns in the future so will need to grow the Endowment in order to maintain the current level of support. We will do this through donations, expenditure control, judicious selection of financial investments and by pursuing opportunities within our property portfolio. We will also carefully monitor the percentage of the Endowment taken as income. In recent years this percentage has been reduced from 4.5% to 2.75%.
The Endowment is the responsibility of the Investments Committee which reports to the College Council. The Investments Committee comprises the Master, the Senior Bursar, three other Fellows of the College and four external members, who are expert in investment management. Decisions on membership of the Investment Committee are taken by the College Council. The Investments Committee adheres to an Investment Policy Statement that is approved by the College Council annually.
The financial portfolio is divided between Partners Capital Investment Group under a discretionary management mandate and the Cambridge University Endowment Fund. The property portfolio is managed directly by the College on the advice of Bidwells.
Statement of Investment Responsibility
The primary fiduciary responsibility of the College Council in investing and managing the Endowment is to maximise the financial return on those resources, taking into account the amount of risk permitted within the College’s investment policy. But, there are circumstances, described in Charity Commission guidance and founded in judicial decisions, when the College may balance against its primary responsibility considerations of the ethical nature of investments.
The College will take due care to ensure that its investment management reflects the interests and values of the College. While these values do not require the automatic avoidance of any particular corporation or sector, they do require that all fund managers behave with integrity and are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements and relevant codes of practice.
The College has a diversified financial portfolio, with no one corporation representing over 1% of its total value. As the College does not 'pick stocks' and avoids investment managers who specialise in sensitive sectors, it does not routinely confront issues of social responsibility with the selection of its financial investments. It does, however, require Partners Capital to pick carefully its investment managers. The College insists that these managers demonstrate a very high standard of integrity towards their clients, their staff and the relevant regulatory authorities. Where any breaches of integrity are detected, the assets under management may be moved to another fund manager.
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, available upon request and published in a special edition of the Cambridge University Reporter.
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 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 and the College Accounts which are available upon request.
The remit of the Finance Committee is available upon request.
Staff pay and grading structures
The salary scales employed by the University can be found here.
For further information on pay, grading and other staff schemes please contact the human resources officer.
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.
The College does not publish details of its commercial contracts.
The College funds its own scheme of Research Fellowships, details of which are available on request or here.