Interviewee: Fiona Davidge, Enterprise Risk Manager for Wellcome Trust, London, England
Interviewer: Professor Jean-Paul Louisot, Formerly Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Directeur Pédagogique du CARM Institute, Paris, France
Date: February 4, 2013
The Wellcome Trust is a charitable endowment fund, registered with the UK Charity Commission. The Wellcome Trust was established in 1936 under the will of Henry Wellcome, founder of the Wellcome pharmaceutical company. Initially the Trust was funded from company profits as it owned shares of the company and received dividends. In 1992, the shares were sold thus severing direct links with the pharmaceutical industry. The money raised was invested in an endowment fund with the sole purpose of providing income for the Wellcome Trust. That endowment is now worth over £14 billion and provides an income annually of £600–700 million.
Despite its not-for-profit status and being a charity, the Trust is still among the top 100 companies paying taxes to the UK government, mainly VAT (value added tax) and transaction tax on the investment portfolio.
The Wellcome Trust funds research in universities and other educational institutions in the field of bio-medical research for humans and animals. It also funds a public engagement program to promote understanding of science. It has recently created a new subsidiary, Syncona, endowed with £200 million in funds, which will invest ...