Distracted by other blogging, I was negligent in failing to notice that the Marcela Trust had posted their 2012 accounts back in March. You can read the results of my previous investigations of the Marcela Trust and friends at your leisure.
Interesting points from the accounts:
- Natasha Malby resigned as a trustee on 6th October 2011. I wonder why?
- They're still with Spofforth's as accountants, and still HQ'd at 14 Buckingham Street. I actually dropped by that address a couple of months back; the doorbell panel indicates that as well as the IPPR (who presumably take up a floor or two of the building) there are a veritable host of small organisations at that address, e.g. the rapacious capitalists at investment firm Dawn Capital.
- They donated £100K to the anti-salt campaigners at CASH, which donation seems to have been passed straight through the Marcela Trust from OMC Investments Ltd.
- They donated £170K to Fauna & Flora International, registered charity no. 1011102, to "fund specific Community initiatives in the impoverished Zarand area of Western Transylvania and a Rumanian[sic] post graduate student at Cambridge University"
- That Romanian student appears to be Lenke Barint who graduated in the MPhil 2011-2012 class.
- The Marcela Trust carried forward £65M in its funds balance essentially unchanged.
- Current assets dropped from £11.8M in 2011 to £4.5M in 2012; tangible assets went up £20M to £77M; and amount owed to creditors went up from £200K to £13M to balance.
- Why did tangible assets jump by £20M? Because they spend £24M to acquire new tangible assets (freehold investment property) and raised £12M in loans - this sounds like they're speculating in property like the Camelia Botnar Foundation has been doing. I wonder how trusteee Mrs. Dawn Pamela Rose is involved in these acquisitions?
- Wages and salaries jumped from £570K to £854K for the same 4 people as in 2011. Since Natasha Malby resigned early in the year, her salary was negligible. Dawn Pamela Rose's salary was about the same. Brian Arthur Groves charged the Trust £89K for his services as a director. I wonder who else made up the remainder of the salaries?
- Dawn Pamela Rose's company QHH Limited appears in the accounts as a subsidiary with £1.1M turnover and 45% of that as gross profit - being more than wiped out by £622K of "administrative expenses and exceptional items", losing a net £69K for the year. I would really, really like to know what QHH Limited is doing with that money.
- Brian Arthur Groves was made a £200K loan, secured against his equity, with interest at 1% above BoE base rate; this amount is now down to £150K. Note that I've not rounded these numbers - according to the accounts they are exact.
Fauna & Flora international had £18.2M income and £17.3M spending in 2012, and has lots of eminent people as Vice Presidents. Of that income, about £4.3M came from trusts and foundations; this looks like a random donation, but I'd be fascinated to know what connection Lenke Barint has to the Marcela Trust trustees.
What does all the above tell me? The Marcela Trust is marking time, being used as a conduit for donations to charities by OMC investments, and using its substantial assets to speculate in the property market. It seems that being an employee or director of the Trust continues to be a well-paid gig, especially in relation to its level of charitable activity. I would love to know what QHH Limited is doing on behalf of the Marcela Trust - more, I'd like to get a job as admin staff for them as it seems to be quite the sinecure.