Friends Provident Foundation Appoints New Investment Adviser

Author: Friends Provident Foundation

Date: 09/07/2024

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Redington as the new Investment Adviser to Friends Provident Foundation. This key adviser role plays a crucial part in shaping and guiding our investment strategy, helping us in our efforts to balance a range of important factors when investing, including our purpose, values, intended impact and risk-adjusted financial return.


Friends Provident Foundation is dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and fair economy. We recognise that our endowment investments impact on our mission, positively and negatively. We seek to own this impact and manage it actively.


As part of this, we initiated a search for an Investment Adviser who could help us navigate the complex world of responsible investment and impact investment, while maintaining oversight on financial performance. Through our tender process, we sought an individual adviser, or an institution where a direct relationship with key contacts could be ensured. We were looking for extensive investment expertise, an understanding of the charitable foundation sector, and an appreciation of our mission.


After a short public invitation to tender we interviewed 3 candidates:
I For Change; Lane, Clark and Peacock (LCP); and Redington. Overall, the quality of the 3 candidates was high, all with significant strengths. The panel was made up of 2 people who are trustees and investment committee members, and 2 members of our staff team.


I For Change was recognised for their excellent financial analysis and the value of their challenging perspective on mainstream investment. They also have deep experience of the social investment and impact investment market in the UK.


We decided that an ability to influence the wider investment and financial ecosystem was a determining factor in our decision. LCP and Redington, being large, established firms with a range of mainstream clients, both showed strong potential in this regard. Both LCP and Redington demonstrated a strong capacity to support our reporting on financial performance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.


LCP demonstrated an impressive commitment to addressing social issues, inequality, and helping to shape a more conducive regulatory environment to responsible investment (see here LCP’s CEO taking part in an interesting debate on sustainability and fiduciary duty).


In the end, the panel opted for Redington. Redington are an explicitly mission-orientated organisation with a clear aim to contribute to positive change in the economy. Working with them, we felt we had the potential to contribute to impact on our ambitious goal of changing the wider investment/financial market.


In their adviser role, Redington will be responsible for understanding our investment strategy, current portfolio, monitoring financial performance, and advising on risk management. As mission-driven organisations, we also hope to work together on separate projects to influence the change we both seek. Redington will work closely with our trustees, investment committee, foundation staff, and investment managers.


As we embark on this new chapter with Redington, we are excited about the potential to further refine our investment strategy and increase our positive impact. We remain committed to transparency and responsible stewardship of our resources, and we believe this appointment will strengthen our ability to fulfil our purpose.


Tara Gillespie, Head of Global Assets and Managing Director, Redington said:
“As a mission-driven firm, we are thrilled to welcome Friends Provident Foundation as our new client. Our partnership is more than a business relationship – it’s a shared journey towards achieving a better future for people and the planet. Together with Friends Provident Foundation, we are eager to advance Sustainable Investment initiatives, ensuring that investments are aimed at achieving mission-aligned investment goals.”


We say a big thanks to I For Change and LCP for their excellent applications and deep engagement with our process. We also thank our current investment adviser for their long-standing support to the Foundation.


We ran a short, focused, and quite traditional public tender process for this recruitment. However, it occurred to us afterwards that a more participatory process, akin to the ‘ESG investing olympics’, could be possible for the investment adviser part of the ecosystem. We would love to see someone try this and would be happy to discuss.


For more information about our investment strategy and portfolio, please visit our website or get in contact.