ACAT is delighted that Ed Christian, Client Relationship Manager at CCLA, has agreed to be a keynote speaker at our 2020 conference. Ed’s webinar entitled “Investing before, during and after a pandemic – CCLA’s Response to Covid-19” will take place on Monday, October 12, at 7.30pm. Click HERE to book. ACAT posed Ed a few questions in advance of the webinar to discover more…
ACAT – Please tell us a little about CCLA…
Ed Christian – CCLA manages investments for charities, religious organisations and the public sector.
We believe that good investment management is like a well-tended garden, requiring constant attention, planting and pruning.
Founded in 1958, we aim to deliver strong long-term returns and have unmatched experience in providing ethical and responsible investment to charities.
We are independently owned by our clients with £11.4 billion of assets under management.
ACAT – What has been CCLA’s response to the coronavirus pandemic?
EC – From an investment point of view, our philosophy and approach remains consistent.
We focus on buying high quality assets which are fundamentally sound, well run, have low levels of debt and driving secular growth.
The initial market volatility that we saw, gave us the opportunity to buy shares in some good companies at a discount, using the cash we had accrued earlier in the year.
We have not cut our income forecasts on our equity and multi-asset funds and continue to pursue a progressive distribution policy.
In terms of the firm itself, operationally we have been working from home now for six months and have been fortunate enough not to have to furlough anyone.
ACAT – What would be your guidance to church treasurers at this point in time?
EC – Our guidance would be that treasurers consider doing the following:
First, they should evaluate their investment objectives and draw up an investment policy statement (IPS) if this is not already in existence.
In precis, an IPS provides general investment goals and objectives and describes the strategies that investment managers will employ to meet these objectives.
Second, church treasurers should also review their spending and capital requirements and impact that these are having on their revenues
ACAT – How should Church treasurers be planning for the future?
EC – It’s obviously very important that they assess their liquid cash positions and liabilities
The reason for this is simple – they need to ensure that they have sufficient liquidity to meet near-term obligations.
What’s more, they should not risk investing cash if there are known liabilities over the short-term.
As a starter, anything less than five years is regarded as short-term.
Also, it’s important to consider the impact of the virus on income both now and into the future… and consider how any shortfall can be met.
ACAT – Why is CCLA particularly well placed to weather the pandemic on behalf of clients?
EC – CCLA’s investment approach as evidenced by the COIF Charities Investment Fund (a multi-asset, pooled investment fund), has delivered strong long-term outperformance of its benchmark, markets and many other Funds, over the past 10 years.
Our focus remains on real assets and, in particular, on companies that have strong balance sheets, are the leaders in their chosen fields and are driving behavioural change.
We believe that these will continue to deliver superior long-term returns and weather the current economic crisis.
At CCLA, we invest for the long-term and therefore select assets that meet the requirements of our investors.
Our investment performance during the initial stages of the pandemic and during the period of heightened volatility was better than the market as a whole and has continued to outperform during the subsequent recovery.
ACAT – What will delegates learn from attending your webinar?
EC – It will be CCLA focused, but the aim is to provide a sense of assurance that investing does not have to be daunting.
Despite the current volatility, over the long-term good returns can be achieved.
To book your place on CCLA’s webinar entitled “Investing before, during and after a pandemic – CCLA’s Response to Covid-19” click HERE.
To find out more about CCLA click HERE.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of investments and the income derived from them may fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested and may lose money. CCLA Investment Management Limited and CCLA Fund Managers Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.