Wellcome Trust to increase spending thanks to alternative investments

Wellcome Trust, an independent charity funding research into human and animal health, will increase spending by 17 percent following returns of 16 percent in the trust’s alternative investments portfolio for the last three years.

This year Wellcome Trust will increase spending from $889 million (€680 million) to $1 billion, the Financial Times reported, as alternative investments make strong returns.  In the last ten years the trust has made 90 percent annual returns on venture capital.

Danny Truell, chief investment officer at Wellcome Trust created four new investment groups after arriving at the trust a year ago: equity and equity long-short; property and infrastructure; healthcare and venture; absolute return and buyouts.

Wellcome Trust invests about 40 percent of its $25 billion of assets in private equity, hedge funds and property, and spends about $871 million annually to support health research.

Truell told the Financial Times: “We have a target of six percent real return, but targets are there to be beaten.”

Last month Wellcome Trust recommitted to Nordic-focused private equity firm InnovationsKapital’s InnKap 4 fund, which closed at $137 million.

In March Wellcome Trust was one of 24 institutional investors who committed to UK mid-market buyout firm Pheonix Equity Partners 2006 fund, which closed at $651 million.

In July a consortium of research funds led by the Wellcome Trust provided $162 million to boost experimental medicine in the UK and Ireland.