The Rātā Foundation, previously known as the Canterbury Community Trust, has grown assets under management to almost $600 million over the latest financial year, according to its latest annual report.
Rātā, which invests via a Mercer fund-of-funds (comprising 19 underlying managers), reported assets under management of $585 million as at the end of March, up more than $20 million compared to the previous year.
Earlier this month Rātā also named Leighton Evans as its new chief executive to replace Louise Edwards, who resigned to “concentrate on her governance career”, an official statement says.
Edwards has been “at the helm for the past five years, leading the Foundation’s $25 million earthquake fund, rebrand from The Canterbury Community Trust to Rātā Foundation and the development of a new funding programme, amongst other significant changes”, the release says.
Due to formally take up the role on October 23, Evans will relocate from Gisborne where he has been general manager of the Eastland Community Trust (ECT) since 2010.
The ECT, known as the Eastland Energy Community Trust until 2004, owns a number of Gisborne district infrastructure assets (via its 100 per cent stake in the Eastland Group), the Eastland Development Fund, as well “passive investments (term deposits, shares, international currencies and property)”, the group’s website says.
According to the latest ECT accounts, the group invests just over $50 million in shares and fixed interest securities, mainly through broker groups, Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr.
In July this year ECT appointed Eastland Group business development general manager, Gavin Murphy, as its first chief executive.
Prior to joining ECT, Evans held senior roles with the Gisborne District Council and civil construction company, Quality Roading and Services.
In the statement, Evans said he was “committed to innovative thinking” about how Rātā invests in the communities it funds.
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and gaining a better understanding of the needs, ideas and perspectives of the people and communities of our four funding regions,” he said in the release.
The Canterbury Community Trust adopted the Rātā brand in 2015 following a survey that found the original title was “confusing”
“Many respondents did not understand our history – ‘where and who does the money come from’,” a report at the time said. “The word ‘Trust’ was misleading and confusing, leading people to ask ‘what social services we provided’.”