At Majedie, our thoughts remain with those across the globe who have been directly affected by the Covid-19 virus. As a business, our focus remains on delivering the level of service that our clients expect, whilst doing our utmost to ensure the health and wellbeing of Majedie staff, their families and the wider community.
Every member of the Majedie team has been working remotely, in a fully connected and compliant environment, from 16 March. The Coronavirus Committee, which comprises three executive directors, invoked firmwide home working within an hour of the Prime Minister’s advice that everyone who can work from home, should. Our agile response followed careful, specific preparation and planning for the effects of Covid-19 on our working practices from late January, over and above our usual BCP arrangements.
Majedie was founded on a principle of excellence and this ethos has been taken into our homes. We are fortunate that our investment, dealing and business systems allow us to work seamlessly and productively in a remote setting. Our Investment team’s interactions with corporate management have intensified, as we scrutinise company prospects and navigate our clients’ portfolios through this crisis period. Volatile markets often expose attractive long-term investment opportunities for those with sufficient liquidity; we have been working hard to identify those opportunities.
At the same time we never lose sight of the fact that an active manager’s primary role is to provide a means for capital to be allocated towards those companies and sectors, often local in nature, which both need and deserve the financial support to grow and prosper. We have backed a number of corporate fundraisings in recent months, a process which requires careful analysis, long-term thinking, a stewardship mindset and sound judgement – and is a critical component in supporting sustainable economic growth and society in general.
Responsible Capitalism has been an enduring priority at Majedie, over many years. Just as we expect transparency in our engagement conversations with our investee companies, so we also turn the lens on ourselves. During this period of crisis, we believe it is important to support those who usually provide us with services that are temporarily suspended. Majedie continues to pay these suppliers, such as our office cleaners, in full; we recognise our duty to the wider society in which we live and work. Majedie is a limited company domiciled in the UK and all our employees are UK tax resident. We have not drawn on any government support schemes and no staff have been furloughed; indeed we have made clear that every job is safe through this crisis period.
We are conscious that this is an extremely tough period for many charities, too. In March, Majedie donated the equivalent of £1,000 per employee to the National Emergencies Trust and in April, a donation to NHS Charities Together was funded by a 25% reduction in Board salaries from April to June. We hope these contributions make a meaningful difference to those working so hard on all our behalves on the front line. These donations are in addition to our long running Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Give As You Earn matching scheme, through which monthly employee charitable donations typically amount to over £250,000 every year.
Every member of the Majedie team is an equity owner of our business, so it has been no surprise that the team has pulled together so well to continue to do our best for our clients. Mindful of our employees’ health and wellbeing, we offer flexibility to those facing childcare challenges and the whole team has been reminded of the confidential mental health and wellbeing support services that are available.
Furthermore, we have always run our business as we invest: with a long-term mindset. By deliberately choosing to limit shareholder dividends since launch, Majedie has built up a strong balance sheet with surplus capital equivalent to seven times our Pillar II regulatory requirement. Our business is profitable and cash generative, and recorded net inflows during the first quarter of 2020. This prudent approach and our resilient business footing mean that despite the prevailing economic and market headwinds, rather than turn inwards on our own business issues, we can continue to look outwards and forwards; working hard to deliver excellence for our clients.
Majedie Asset Management
29 May 2020