Asset and investment policy
The Trust Fund endeavours to grow the available capital and to manage and spend it in an effective and socially responsible manner.
The investment policy of the Trust Fund is aimed at long term investments, whereby the highest possible return is achieved with an acceptable risk profile. The primary objective is the long-term preservation of the Trust Fund’s assets, including (i) inflation and, if possible, (ii) withdrawals of approximately 3% per year for the purpose of the Trust Fund’s target spending. This long-term objective implies that there may be interim periods of negative value development.
The Trust Fund uses so-called ‘Investment Beliefs’ as a guideline for decision-making regarding the investment policy and its implementation.
- The Trust Fund strives for an efficient implementation of its investment policy.
- External managers complement the internal management.
- Most markets are efficient. Therefore, the Trust Fund invests passively, unless more active management will result in either demonstrably higher returns, or objectives other than returns being better served without a negative impact on risk / return.
- The investment mix (strategic asset allocation) dominates the investment process. This must be carefully determined and (if necessary) adjusted with great care.
- Taking risks is necessary to achieve a return, but is only useful when the two are truly connected. Taking risks is rewarded in the long term.
- Diversification improves the return to risk ratio. The measures of risk can fluctuate strongly over time.
- The Trust Fund only invests in instruments that the board understands.
- Investing in non-liquid instruments can be useful given the fund’s long-term vision.
- The Trust Fund strives for a portfolio that is as sustainable as possible. Sustainability does not have to be at the expense of risk / return.
- Where possible, the Trust Fund substantiates the relationship with Rotterdam, but not at the expense of the return of the portfolio.
In general, investment policy can be divided into three levels:
- Strategic investment policy, resulting in a strategic investment mix or strategic asset allocation.
- Tactical investment policy, resulting in the tactical investment mix or tactical asset allocation.
- Operational investment policy, resulting in the actual composition of the investment portfolio.
Strategic investment policy
The strategic investment policy is set for the long term. The strategic investment mix determines the distribution of the assets to be invested across the various investment categories. (Minimum, Neutral, Maximum)
- Business Values 65% 70% 75%
- Risk-avoiding Investments 25% 30% 35%
- Business Values include: shares, real estate and high-yield bonds. Risk-avoiding Investments are mainly fixed-income securities such as government bonds and corporate bonds with an investment grade rating and liquidities.
- With the aforementioned strategic investment mix, the Trust Fund board opts for an emphasis on business values and less on risk-avoiding investments. Due to the long-term investment portfolio, the board accepts the risks associated with this investment mix.
- Trust The Trust Fund board will periodically review the strategic investment mix (at least once every three to five years).
Tactical investment policy
Deviations from the strategic norm (70/30) can arise due to market movements. These deviations do not arise as a result of market visions. Within the investment categories Business Values and Risk-avoiding Investments, it is possible that the asset managers organize the relevant category on the basis of tactical visions.
Operational investment policy
The operational investment policy encapsulates: the rebalancing of the portfolio, whereby the weight of the investments are reduced to their strategic norm if the portfolio is out of bandwidth at the end of the quarter due to market movements. The portfolio manager monitors the portfolio positions on a daily basis. Additions to the portfolio (e.g. donations) are used to move the portfolio towards the most effective strategic mix.
The operational policy also includes the selection, purchase and sale of individual assets and / or investment funds by the asset manager(s). The Trust Fund sets up a widely spread portfolio for each investment category, possibly through a broad spectrum of investment funds.
The Trust Fund attaches great importance to sustainable asset management. It does not want to invest in companies involved in socially reprehensible activities but in companies that respect the importance of “people, environment and society”. A high score on the so-called Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) criteria indicates the sustainability of the investments.
Organization of Asset Management
The Trust Fund has a Supervisory Board, a Board and an Advisory Committee in the field of investments (the Investment Committee).
The board of the Trust Fund bears ultimate responsibility for the investment policy and for the strategic asset allocation. The board is advised internally by the Investment Committee. The Investment Committee provides solicited and unsolicited advice to the board and consists of alumni with experience in asset management. The board can be externally advised by professional managing parties, which in the case of several asset managers also manages consolidated asset reporting.
The Trust Fund relinquishes the management of its assets to one or more specialized asset managers. The applicable conditions to management are detailed in a mandate or asset management agreement established by an asset manager, always in compliance with this Statute’s provisions
The asset manager(s) is/are responsible for the implementation of the investment policy. The Trust Fund board regularly reviews the performance of the asset manager(s) based on this Statute and discusses this with the asset manager(s) and, if required, in the presence of the director. Within the board, the treasurer and board member with the management portfolio are primarily responsible for communication with the asset manager(s), for which, at least once a year, they are accountable to other members of the board and the Supervisory Board.
The board may decide, in the case of very special market developments or if the asset manager(s) indicate(s) that the restrictions imposed in this Statute prevent the implementation of the general investment policy, to make an exception to the provisions in this Statute.
The asset manager(s) provide quarterly insight into the position of the portfolio at the end of each quarter, as well as the costs of asset management and the performance of the portfolio in relation to the strategic investment mix, the risks taken, the agreed upon benchmarks, etc. In addition, the Trust Fund has the opportunity to gain insight into the portfolio(s) at any time it desires.