Pendal retains a strong balance sheet, with net assets at 30 September 2020 of $895.8 million, cash and seed investments of $407.9 million and no debt. This financial strength provides a platform to support ongoing investment for growth and diversification.
Cash held by the Group as at 30 September 2020 was $207.5 million (2019: $150.1 million). Cash increased on the prior year as redemptions from the seed portfolio during the year were yet to be deployed into new strategies.
Cash flows from ongoing operations are typically held for working capital purposes, to acquire equity for employee share schemes, and to fund strategic initiatives including seed investments. Surplus cash above these requirements are paid to shareholders in the form of dividends. Cash flows earned by overseas subsidiaries within the Group are held in foreign currencies, British pounds, Euro and US dollars, until repatriated to the Australian parent through inter-company dividends through the year. Those dividends remain hedged in Australian dollars until paid.
Seed investments are an important contributor to the Group’s future growth. Investments are made into new fund vehicles, as they establish an investment performance track record, and existing funds to provide scale as they become marketable to clients.
At 30 September 2020, the seed portfolio was $200.4 million (2019: $259.0 million).
The seed portfolio is assessed regularly for investment performance and scale against targets and may be redeemed when fund size and maturity are achieved, or an investment strategy is closed. In total, seed investments with a market value of $132.1 million were redeemed in the 2020 Financial Year, including the JOHCM Global Smaller Companies and JOHCM US SMID strategies.
The majority of the cash realised from redeeming investments was redeployed to support a number of fund vehicles including the JOHCM Global Opportunities UK OEIC, the JOHCM Global Income Builder OEIC, and its extension strategy, the JOHCM Credit Income mutual fund which was launched for the US market in August 2020. Subsequent to year end, $18.3 million was also deployed into the Regnan Global Equity Impact UK OEIC, the Group’s first Impact product for the UK market.
Pendal’s balance sheet as at 30 September 2020 carried intangible assets of $532.1 million. This comprises the goodwill and management rights associated with the acquisition of JOHCM in 2011 and goodwill arising from Pendal Group Limited’s IPO in 2007.
During the year, the Group expanded its operating segments to split the historically reported Pendal International segment, between Europe, the UK and Asia (EUKA) and the US regions. Consequently, the goodwill associated with the JOHCM acquisition has been separately attributed to the US and EUKA for the purpose of impairment testing. There was no impairment to the carrying value of goodwill across the Group during the year. The management rights associated with the acquisition of JOHCM continue to be amortised over time.
Liabilities and debt
Pendal’s liabilities primarily consist of trade creditors and accruals, lease liabilities and employee benefits. Total liabilities were $210.6 million at 30 September 2020 (2019: $185.9 million), an increase of $24.7 million. The increase can largely be attributable to a change in accounting standards from the 2020 Financial Year affecting the recognition of lease liabilities (and assets). This change had the effect of increasing the Group’s liabilities by $36.9 million over the year with a corresponding offset in lease assets.
The Group continues to have no debt outstanding at 30 September 2020. A $25.0 million multi-currency revolving loan facility is maintained and remained undrawn throughout the financial year.
Equity and dividends
The issued capital of Pendal Group Limited remained constant during the 2020 Financial Year and there was no change to ordinary shares on issue. The Directors declared a final 2020 dividend of 22.0 cents per share, bringing total dividends for the year to 37.0 cents per share, a 17.8 per cent decrease on last year’s dividend of 45.0 cents per share.
The total dividend represents a payout ratio of 81 per cent, which is within the Group’s payout ratio target of 80 to 90 per cent of Cash NPAT. The Dividend Reinvestment Plan has been activated for the 2020 final dividend.
From the 2021 Financial Year, the Board has revised the Group’s payout ratio policy and will pay 80-95 per cent of UPAT following the change in the Group’s alternative profit measure.