A momentous milestone in Milford’s development and charitable plans
I joined Milford in 2010 and was fortunate enough to arrive as the business was becoming sustainably profitable and was beginning to make charitable donations.
In 2014 I moved to Sydney to help establish our first Australian office. I was a keen investor (and now acknowledge still inexperienced), but had nevertheless grasped the importance of getting the maximum return for your dollar in a sustainable fashion. By this point these key principles had been drilled into me by the investment team at Milford.
With this in mind, an idea popped into my head when Milford launched its first employee innovation awards that year. Our annual charitable donations were a great development but did not utilise some of Milford’s inherent advantage: our investment expertise gave us the ability to compound capital. I also admired the sense of perpetuity that large and well-funded foundations give to their beneficiaries and wanted to incorporate that sense of security.
The idea was to convert our annual budgeted donations into contributions to a Foundation that could grow money while also handing out a portion along the way. This would have a number of benefits:
I did end up winning the award, but the money was left with Milford to put into the Foundation upon its launch.
This year the Foundation has come to life under the safe hands of the Foundation’s CE Bryce Marsden – someone who embodies the Milford values.
The 50% granting and 50% growing structure will help the Foundation make a difference today while giving it the ability to make an even larger contribution in the future. The Foundation continues to support those in need of one-off grants, while also building strong and meaningful partnerships with long-term support. It is also nimble when required, with the recent foodbank donations during the lockdown an example of the ability to move quickly for urgent needs.
The three pillars of education, youth and environment were supported by Milford before the concept of the Foundation and have now been encompassed into the new structure. Already just under $1m in grants have been committed with more to come given the funds received are over $5m.
As a Portfolio Manager at Milford, I am excited to be part of delivering the investment objectives for the Foundation. Milford’s investment process targets strong returns with good risk management in times of market volatility. This investment approach should enable the Foundation to support its beneficiaries in the long-term and continue granting during challenging economic and market environments.
We are just at the beginning of the journey of the Milford Foundation. The Founders and Directors of Milford have.
Thank you to all who have donated or contributed their time to this endeavour.
Portfolio Manager, Milford