College Investments

Oliver Banks made this Freedom of Information request to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Dear Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge,

This is a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Could you please provide:

(1) A list of companies which the College holds stocks and shares in, specifying how many shares are held and the approximate value of the shareholding.

(2) A list of exchange traded funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, index funds, commodities, hedge funds, and bonds that the college has investments in, including the approximate value of each.

(3) in the case of any indirectly held or fund-based investments a breakdown of the companies invested in through the fund, including the percentage of the total fund made up by each holding.

(4) a list of properties that the college has investments, including the approximate value of each.

(5) A list of any other investments the college holds, including the approximate value of
each.

If you are to invoke Section 43 to withhold information in relation to any of these questions please note you must provide details of the exact FOIA exemption, details of who would be prejudiced by this information, and a public interest test justifying a conclusion with arguments for and against the release of the information.

If you are to invoke Section 12 to withhold information in relation to any of these questions please provide details of how locating, retrieving and extracting this information would exceed the appropriate limit of £450 as set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Please also be aware of your duty under section 16 (1) of the Act to advise and assist me in narrowing my request to bring it within the appropriate limit.

Thank you very much for your assistance with this request. If you would like any clarification on the information I have asked for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to receiving your response in the next 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Banks

Dear Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge,

You have not replied to this Freedom of Information request in the legal time constraints. Please respond in the next three days and confirm you have received this email.

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Banks

CAIUS Senior Bursar, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Banks,

 

I write to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information request and
apologise for the delay in replying.  The answers to your questions are as
follows:

 

(1) A list of companies which the College holds stocks and shares in,
specifying how many shares are held and the approximate value of the
shareholding. 

 

From the context, we construe 'stock' to be debt instruments issued by
companies. The college owns no stock.

 

The college owns shares in the following companies:

 

- Caius Conferences Limited - 1 share - value £1

- Caius Property Services Limited - 1 share - value £3,925

- Budworth Development Limited - 1 share - value £1

 

(2) A list of exchange traded funds, private equity funds, mutual funds,
index funds, commodities, hedge funds, and bonds that the college has
investments in, including the approximate value of each. 

 

The college owns units in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund and the
approximate value was £50.4m at June 2019.

 

The college is subject to confidentiality agreements in relation to the
management of its investment in funds. It has taken time to determine the
extent of the exemption under section 43. The college regrets the delay
that this has occasioned.

 

The college has determined that the following should be disclosed,
balancing the public interest with the confidentiality interests to which
it is bound and the commercial interests of its investment managers which
are protected thereby (which also enure to the benefit of the college
through the services which the investments managers provide to the
college).

 

The following table provides values of individual fund holdings as at
30^th June 2019. Individual fund names have been redacted in accordance
with the decision on confidentiality under Section 43.

 

Liquid investments:

 

 

Illiquid investments. Names are redacted consistently with the conclusions
above of the scope of section 43. The information is limited to the date
of entry into the fund and the current value of the remaining interest in
the fund.

 

 

 

 

(3) in the case of any indirectly held or fund-based investments a
breakdown of the companies invested in through the fund, including the
percentage of the total fund made up by each holding.

 

The college does not have the information requested but in the interests
of assisting your enquiry, we disclose below information held on the 10
largest aggregated holdings in companies at 30^th June 2019. The
information excludes any share in the underlying shareholdings in the
Cambridge University Endowment Fund, which is information we do not hold. 
We do not hold information on how these names are distributed amongst the
college’s holdings in individual funds:

 

On the basis of the information received, none of the aggregated holdings
is valued at more than approximately £1.7m.

 

We note that for questions (2) and (3) the information provided is the
latest received and is accurate as at 30^th June 2019. Not only will
values inevitably have changed in that period but the funds involved and
the asset allocations may have changed given the discretionary nature of
the mandate with our investment managers.

 

(4) a list of properties that the college has investments, including the
approximate value of each.

 

A list of properties is below. The information related to the values is
considered to be commercially confidential on the basis that they are
either tenanted or potentially available for sale and disclosure of the
value ascribed by the college would prejudice lease negotiations with
tenants or potential purchasers in the case of a sale or development.
Accordingly the valuations are exempt information under Section 43 FOIA.

 

Gonville & Caius
College -
Investment
Properties held
at 30 June 2019
16-21 Market
Hill, Cambridge
27-28 Market
Hill, Cambridge
1 Rose Crescent,
Cambridge
2 Rose Crescent,
Cambridge
3-6 & 12-18 Rose
Crescent,
Cambridge
1 & 2 Trinity
Street,
Cambridge
3 Trinity
Street,
Cambridge
4 Trinity
Street,
Cambridge
5/6 Trinity
Street,
Cambridge
9 Trinity Street
& 1a Rose
Crescent,
Cambridge
23 Green Street,
Cambridge
28 Green Street,
Cambridge
29 Green Street,
Cambridge
35 Green Street,
Cambridge
35/36 Green
Street,
Cambridge
9 Kings Parade,
Cambridge
49 Tottenham
Court Road,
London
Terrington
House, 13-15
Hills Road,
Cambridge
11-23 Ditton
Walk and 1-5
Gillies Close,
Cambridge
24 Garages
(Gresham,
Drosier, Glisson
Rds), Cambridge
Cambridge Lawn
Tennis
Club,Wilberforce
Road Sports
Ground &
Gardens,
Cambridge
15 Downshire
Hill, London
11 Harvey Rd,
Cambridge
12 Harvey Rd,
Cambridge
2-4  Mill Road,
Cambridge
9 Fitzwilliam
Road, Cambridge
13 Glisson Road,
Cambridge
21 Hardwick
Street,
Cambridge
9 Summerfield,
Cambridge
Nursery
Springfield
House, Sidgwick
Avenue,
Cambridge
27 Appletrees,
Bar Hill,
Cambridge
32 High St,
Barrington
7 Foster Way,
Cambourne
Land at Broad
Close, Caxton
Bincombe Estate,
Dorset
Duxford Estate,
Cambridgeshire
40-42 Folgate
Road and Staithe
Field, Heacham,
Norfolk
Royal Albert
Hall Box, London
Land At Icknield
Road, Princes
Risborough,
Buckinghamshire
85 acres at
Church End
Farm,Little
Hadham,
Hertfordshire
Fen Ditton
Meadows,
Cambridgeshire
Poplar Hall
Farm, Fen
Ditton,
Cambridgeshire
Rectory Farm,
Milton,
Cambridgeshire
Land at Over,
Cambridgeshire
Heath Farm,
Shelford,
Cambridgeshire
Gog Magog Golf
Club, Shelford,
Cambridgeshire

 

 

(5) A list of any other investments the college holds, including the
approximate value of each.

 

Cash of £8,918,330, as at 30^th June 2019.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of this decision,
you should write to the Senior Bursar, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity
Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TA 0DF who will then assign an appropriate person
to conduct the internal review. If subsequently you are not content with
the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure
provided by the College. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Robert Gardiner

 

RG Gardiner MA FCA

 

 

Dear Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

Thank you for your response and the information provided. I am not satisfied with the initial response and I am therefore requesting an internal review. I’d like to query two withholdings in particular. Firstly, not providing an estimated value of the 10 largest aggregated holdings. Secondly, withholding the names of funds in your fund holdings under exemption 43.
I’d like to query withholding these two pieces of information under Section 43 (1) and Section 43 (2). I’d like to do this in four ways.

(1) Trade Secret
First, in the case of Section 43 (1) - the exemption under FOIA for information which is a trade secret. The Information Commissioner's Office provides detailed guidance here, we’d like for the exemption to be reconsidered in light of this guidance with particular attention to the fact that:
“It is information which is not simply confidential but confers a competitive advantage to the owner and therefore requires more protection.”
“It is information which a rival could not easily recreate or discover themselves.”
“disclosure of the information should also be liable to cause real (or significant) harm to the owner or be advantageous to any rivals.”
In addition, we'd like to draw attention to the First-tier Tribunal discussion of the definition of a trade secret in the case of the Department for Work and Pensions v IC EA/2010/0073, (20 September 2010): The Tribunal classified the information as:
“something technical, unique and achieved with a degree of difficulty and investment” with the term ‘trade secret’ suggesting the “highest level of secrecy”.

(2) Prejudice Test
Second, in the case Section 43 (2) - the exemption under prejudice of commercial interest. The Information Commissioner's Office provides detailed guidance here, we’d like for the exemption to be reconsidered in light of this guidance with particular attention to the fact that:
“In order to apply section 43(2), the public authority must satisfy itself that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice or harm the commercial interests of any person”
“The term “would…prejudice” means that prejudice is more probable than not to occur”
“Would be likely to prejudice” is a lower threshold”
“The public authority must decide the likelihood of prejudice arising on the facts of each case. Establishing the appropriate level of likelihood is also important because it has an effect on the balance of the public interest test.”

(3) Public Interest Test
Third, in the case of both Section 43 (1) and Section 43 (2). The Information Commissioner's Office again provides detailed guidance here, we’d like for the exemption to be reconsidered in light of this guidance, with particular attention to:
“This means that a public authority has to consider the public interest if the exemption is engaged because of prejudice to commercial interests, or because the information is a trade secret. It has to decide whether the balance of the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs that of disclosing the information”.
In terms of Section 42 (1):
Section 43 (1) “is a class based exemption which means that if information is a trade secret, there is no consideration of harm or prejudice. It is however subject to the public interest test”.
In terms of Section 42 (2):
“In order to apply section 43 (2), the public authority must satisfy itself that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice or harm the commercial interests of any person (this can include the public authority holding it). This is known as the prejudice test”.
In terms of carrying out the public interest test:
“In carrying out the public interest test, the authority should consider the arguments in favour of disclosing the information and those in favour of maintaining the exemption. The authority should try to do this objectively, recognising that there are always arguments to be made on both sides. It may be helpful for the authority to draw up a list showing the arguments it is considering on both sides; this will help when it comes to assessing the relative weight of the arguments”.
It should also be noted that in our original request we made clear that:
If you are to invoke Section 43 to withhold information in relation to any of these questions please note you must provide details of the exact FOIA exemption, details of who would be prejudiced by this information, and a public interest test justifying a conclusion with arguments for and against the release of the information.
This public interest test was not provided nor was a list of arguments considering both sides.

(4) Established Precedent
Fourth, a number of other higher education are providing this information under similar circumstances.
Several Russell Group Universities, have provided this information, including:
The University of Newcastle - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...
The University of Glasgow - https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/sustaina...
The University of Edinburgh - https://www.ed.ac.uk/finance/transparenc...
The University of Liverpool - https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2019/08/13/...
In addition to this, already 10 of Cambridge colleges have provided this information to our FOI request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Could you please confirm receipt of this email.

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Banks

CAIUS Senior Bursar, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

We confirm receipt of your email.

RG Gardiner MA FCA
Senior Bursar, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge CB2 1TA, Tel: +44 (0)1223 332499
Personal assistant: Debbie Brown, [email address], Tel: +44 (0)1223 332455
www.cai.cam.ac.uk
@CaiusCollege
Registered charity number 1137536

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Pippa Rogerson,

Dear Mr Banks,
The Senior Bursar of Gonville and Caius College has passed me your request
of 30th September to review  his decision of your FOI request of  21st
August, to which he replied on 25th September.
You have made two queries:
(1) "not providing an estimated value of the 10 largest aggregated
holdings"
(2) "withholding the names of your funds in your fund holdings under
section 43"
I have read s 43 FOIA and the Information Commissioner's advice relating
to an exemption from the duty to disclose information on the basis that
the information is a trade secret. Under s 43(2) FOIA "Information is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person". That person
would include our asset managers. Their decisions on asset allocation are
confidential. The decisions confer a competitive advantage to them, which
is a competitive advantage from which the College also benefits. It would
be advantageous to the asset managers' rivals to obtain this asset
allocation. I am satisfied that disclosing the value and allocation of the
assets would be more likely than not to be prejudicial to commercial
interests of the asset managers and to the College. I have considered the
public benefit in the application of the exemption and decided that on
balance the exemption applied. I have taken into account the general
public benefit of transparency and accountability, and balanced that with
the likely prejudice to the asset managers and the College by disclosure.
I note that your appeal to precedential value of other institutions having
made disclosure is not persuasive. Each of the institutions will have its
own context. An institution may have different methods of investment and
holding assets. This college may therefore have a different relationship
with its investment managers than the others you have cited.
Yours
Pippa Rogerson

__________________________________________________________________

Dr Pippa Rogerson

Master

Gonville & Caius College

Cambridge CB2 1TA

Tel: 01223 332443 (secretary Becky Rutter 332431)

Registered Charity No 1137536

Reader in Private International Law

Faculty of Law

10 West Road

Cambridge

CB3 9DZ

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Pippa Rogerson,

Dear Mr Banks,
On rereading my response to you I've noticed I confused public benefit
with public interest. Here's an updated version (nothing else changed).
The Senior Bursar of Gonville and Caius College has passed me your request
of 30th September to review  his decision of your FOI request of  21st
August, to which he replied on 25th September.
You have made two queries:
(1) "not providing an estimated value of the 10 largest aggregated
holdings"
(2) "withholding the names of your funds in your fund holdings under
section 43"
I have read s 43 FOIA and the Information Commissioner's advice relating
to an exemption from the duty to disclose information on the basis that
the information is a trade secret. Under s 43(2) FOIA "Information is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person". That person
would include our asset managers. Their decisions on asset allocation are
confidential. The decisions confer a competitive advantage to them, which
is a competitive advantage from which the College also benefits. It would
be advantageous to the asset managers' rivals to obtain this asset
allocation. I am satisfied that disclosing the value and allocation of the
assets would be more likely than not to be prejudicial to commercial
interests of the asset managers and to the College. I have considered the
public interest in the application of the exemption and decided that on
balance the exemption applied. I have taken into account the general
public interest of transparency and accountability, and balanced that with
the likely prejudice to the asset managers and the College by disclosure.
I note that your appeal to precedential value of other institutions having
made disclosure is not persuasive. Each of the institutions will have its
own context. An institution may have different methods of investment and
holding assets. This college may therefore have a different relationship
with its investment managers than the others you have cited.
Yours
Pippa Rogerson

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