The assets of the Finnish Cultural Foundation were valued at around 1.5 billion euro in 2018. A Finance Committee, elected by the Board and consisting of three board members and two external advisers, meets five to six times a year and is responsible for investment decisions. The Foundation's office prepares these decisions and manages day-to-day investment activities.
Investment decisions are based on an investment policy that sets out how the Foundation's capital should be spread across different types of assets. The Finance Committee monitors how the policy is implemented, while the Board receives reports on a regular basis. The revenue yielded by the capital is distributed in the form of grants.
Market-driven asset growth
Stability and a perpetual investment horizon determine the Foundation's investments. The aim is to establish long-term positions rather than to secure quick profits over the short term. A steady cash flow is also important. The funds used for the Foundation's grants come from dividends, rents, interest, and similar sources of revenues. Capital gains are mostly reinvested but can be spent for grants if necessary. The Foundation’s share in a major international packaging company, Huhtamäki, constitutes around one fourth of its total assets.
The economic situation in Finland and abroad is reflected in the Foundation's investments. The growth in the size of its portfolio from the mid-1990's until 2007 was a result of general positive market developments and especially the success of the Nokia company. The international financial crisis which started in 2008 put also the Cultural Foundation to a test. However, during the crisis it made the decision to maintain the amount of funds spent at pre-crisis levels. As global growth has accelerated in the following decade the Foundation has again been able to grow its spending, attending an all-time high in 2018.