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BayTrust announces record surplus

BayTrust CEO Alastair Rhodes. Supplied photo.

On the back of a record surplus, BayTrust’s net equity has reached an all-time high, allowing it to increase the amount of money it distributes to Bay of Plenty community groups to tackle social and environmental issues.

BayTrust’s asset base is now $246m – an increase of $42m from the prior financial year.

The latest annual report reveals the trust’s investments performed exceptionally well despite Covid-19 volatility, returning 24.3 per cent for the year ended March 31, 2021, which was 4.1 percentage points above its benchmark.

BayTrust Chair Rita Nabney says the organisation took the opportunity during the Covid-19 market downtown to move from a 60/40 growth allocation to a 75/25 growth asset allocation and this “courageous decision” helped to drive strong returns for the year along with the Trust’s investments in the sustainable space.

“This record surplus of $42m has given our Board confidence to lift its expected granting to over $25m for the next three years,” Nabney says.

“These grants will be focused on delivering BayTrust’s kaupapa to ‘accelerate bold and meaningful change, assisting BOP communities and our environment to flourish’.”

In another major investment decision, BayTrust has committed to have a fully sustainable and carbon neutral investment portfolio by 2030 (or earlier) which they and their investment advisors, Cambridge Associates, believe will be positive for both the planet and the Trust’s long-term investment returns.

“We are committed to moving to an entirely sustainable investment portfolio over the next 10 years where all investments will be consistent with a low carbon, prosperous, equitable, healthy and safe society,” Nabney says.

“As well as aligning with our values, we are of a strong view that investing in this way will also provide superior financial returns as this is where the best and brightest want to work, where the consumer demand is growing, where the regulatory environment will support, and where investment capital is flowing.”

BayTrust CEO Alastair Rhodes says going forward, BayTrust’s funding priorities will remain kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land); healthy, secure and affordable housing; sustainable employment and inclusive growth; community wellbeing and Tū Māori Mai (cultural embeddedness).

Housing is a key issue that BayTrust will be working hard to help address,

Rhodes says. “We have committed $3.4m to Tauranga Community Housing Trust, a BOP community housing provider, and $2m to a shared equity fund – YouOwn. We are allocating a further $10m of our investments into this space where we will look to work with Maori/iwi, community housing providers, central and local government and other key stakeholders to maximise the impact that this $10m investment can make as we believe everyone has a role to play in terms of turning around the current housing crises seen throughout New Zealand.”

Climate change is another area where BayTrust will look to focus its efforts and help the community to do things differently.

“As a philanthropic, BayTrust has significant flexibility to help local communities understand and mitigate their climate change impacts, as well as grasp opportunities through its internal actions, its investments and its community support.”

BayTrust’s investment base has grown from $89m when it was first established as a separate investment entity in 1997.

Over the past 25 years, a total of $85m has been granted to local community groups.

“We remain committed to sustainably increasing our granting and expect to grant over $25m over the next three years as well as significantly increasing our impact investments – with this forecast to be over $20m within the next year or two,” Rhodes explains.

“BayTrust makes a genuine difference to individual lives and our region as a whole. It’s a great privilege to help provide charitable, cultural, philanthropic, recreational and other benefits to Bay of Plenty communities.”

BayTrust’s region extends from Katikati to Tūrangi to Te Kaha and includes the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty and Rotorua and Taupō districts.

Anyone who would like to hear more about BayTrust’s performance and plans for the years ahead are welcome to attend BayTrust’s Annual Public Meeting at 3pm on August 27 at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga.

RSVP to info@baytrust.org.nz with number attending by August 18.

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