The Finance Committee was established to oversee and manage the finances of the Company and of the Charitable Trust, these responsibilities being delegated respectively by the Court and by the Charity’s Trustees.
The principal tasks of the Finance Committee are therefore to monitor and control expenditure, set and review budgets, and to manage the separate investment portfolios of the Company and the Charity.
The Committee meets five times a year to review the quarterly accounts, set budgets and review the performance of the investments. The Chairman reports to the Standing Committee and to the Court on the key points arising.
In addition to the Master and Wardens who are ex-officio members, the Committee comprises three further members who have particular expertise in finance or investments. For the past year these have been Assistant Nick Fisher, Assistant Nigel Luson and Liveryman David Bamber.
The Investment sub-committee is responsible for managing the Company’s investments, which represent almost the entire accumulated reserves. It consults with stockbrokers Charles Stanley who provide advice and make recommendations on the portfolio.
During the year the Investment sub-committee has been considering a number of important issues including governance, the management of the fund, and the mitigation of risk in the portfolio. A report will be made to the Court in due course. Liveryman Chris Turpin has also been assisting the Investment sub-committee in this work.
Company’s investment portfolio
The Company’s funds are invested with the intention of generating sufficient income to finance its varied activities whilst preserving real capital values over the long term.
The value of the portfolio currently stands at a little over £5.1m and generates income of approximately £175k each year.
This covers the administrative costs of running the office including the salaries of the Clerk and the Assistant Clerk, promoting the Company to the City and beyond, and supporting the cost of some of the Company’s formal functions.
Charity’s investment portfolio
The Charity’s accumulated reserves are invested in five diverse investment funds, currently valued at around £650k, with the intention of providing a balance of capital appreciation and income.
The Charity’s activities and regular programme of gifts are financed by income from this portfolio (currently around £20k per annum) and by donations made by members of the Company and by the Company itself. These activities also include the biennial Bursary Awards, the biennial Competitions, and Wizardry in Wood which takes place every four years.
From time to time a special appeal is made to the membership to support a specific need, such as the current appeal to restore the bells at St Paul’s. These are met through generous individual donations and other fund-raising events.
Legacies are sometimes received and are especially welcome – all Liverymen are encouraged to consider leaving a gift to the Company or the Charitable Trust in their Will and a suitable form of words is available if required.
I should like to thank the Clerk, the Company Accountant, my fellow Committee members, and all those who work so hard to ensure our finances remain healthy and in good order.
Upper Warden Andrew Sindall
Chairman, Finance Committee