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13 Aug 2010

In an article published in Charities Management Magazine, Hamza Ali, SCI's Director of Finance and IT, explains how he and the trustees disregarded investment advice and recalled SCI's cash on deposits in Iceland's Kaupthing in 2008.

'Since I joined SCI in mid-2005, I have emphasised management risk as the most effective tool. During the recent market turmoil, SCI kept ahead of the curve. We started selling both equities and corporate bonds in spring 2007, and the last sale was in March 2008,' he notes.

Spotting that storm clouds were looming over Iceland, Hamza and the trustees decided to recall SCI's cash on deposits with the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, in the nick of time.

'It was a near disaster, less than a millimetre away,' Hamza writes. 'Significant amounts were placed in 2007 on term deposits with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander at over 5.5%. The maturity date was mid October 2008'.

'During this period we did not once hear from our two respected investment managers with a recommendation to sell', he says. Kaupthing was nationalised on 10 October 2008.

The Society has since appointed new advisers. 'The investment policy is based on an 'appetite for risk', not chasing 'alpha performance',' Hamza points out.

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SCI is a unique international forum where science meets business on independent, impartial ground. Anyone can join where they can share and exchange information, ideas, new innovations and research and access SCI's growing database of member specialists between sectors as diverse as food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental science and safety. Originally established in 1881, SCI is a registered charity with members in over 70 countries. For more information on SCI activities and publications, publications, click here.

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About SCI: where science meets business

SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.

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