About us

The University of Auckland Foundation is the steward and distributor of funds entrusted to it for specific educational charitable purposes, usually associated with the University of Auckland.

The trustees are drawn from the alumni of the University of Auckland and the general public. Current trustees are: Geoff Ricketts (Chair), David Carter, Hugh Fletcher, Roger France, Peter Hays, Liz Hickey (Chair - Audit Committee), Jonathan Mason, Sarah Roberts, Lyndy Sainsbury, and Cecilia Tarrant (Chair - Investment Committee).

Geoff Ricketts serves on a variety of corporate boards and charitable trusts including Suncorp and the Todd Corporation. David Carter is Chairman of Beca Asia and a Director of the Beca Group. Hugh Fletcher has served as director of the Reserve Bank of NZ, Fletcher Building and Vector. Roger France is currently a director on the boards of Air New Zealand and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Peter Hays is a trustee on the board of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Jonathan Mason, recently retired as CFO of Fonterra, now serves as a director on the boards of Air New Zealand, Vector, and Zespri. Sarah Roberts is a partner of the law firm Buddle Findlay. Liz Hickey is a director of Southern Cross Healthcare and chairs the External Reporting Panel for the External Reporting Board. Lyndy Sainsbury is a trustee on the Liggins Institute Trust and was formerly its chair. Cecilia Tarrant, formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley in London, is now a director of Fletcher Building.

The trustees meet four times a year to oversee: the use of gifts, fundraising activity, investment of funds, and audit. In addition the investment committee meets with its investment consultant (Cambridge Associates) to review investment policies and performance, and the audit committee meets with its auditors (Grant Thornton) to prepare the annual financial statements and audit. The Foundation is registered with Charities Services (Number CC 10985).

Each Foundation endowment gift is invested into, and allocated its share of, the endowment investment pool which is structured for long-term growth while also allowing for some of the investment income to be distributed. The current annual distribution rate is normally 4% with any excess income being retained to add to the initial gift to protect its long-term value against inflation. In order to achieve this the trustees have instituted an endowment asset allocation that is described in more detail in the "Publications" section. The Foundation, apart from term deposits with New Zealand banks, makes no direct purchases of securities in its endowment pool. Instead, it invests in a number of commingled funds, both managed and passive, on the advice of its external investment consultants Cambridge Associates. All of the investment managers with whom the Foundation is invested are signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.