UK - NewSmith Capital Partners, the asset management boutique set up in 2003 by former Merrill Lynch bankers, is to get $500m (€395m) in funding from the Wellcome Trust, the two said today.

The £12bn Trust, the UK's largest charitable foundation, said the cash would "seed existing and new funds and to enhance NewSmith's investment platform". NewSmith has around $5.5bn under management.

It added: "This investment is part of the Trust's investment activities which support its charitable mission to foster and promote research to improve human and animal health."

The Wellcome Trust's investment portfolio is diversified across more than 300 investment managers in public equities, hedge funds, buyout funds, venture capital, healthcare, bonds, active currency and property. The Trust added it would continue to seek to invest with the best managers across a broad range of asset classes.

"As part of our investment strategy to invest with the best managers, we are delighted to be partnering with NewSmith, whose depth of talent is outstanding," said Wellcome Trust chief investment officer Danny Truell.

"We have great confidence that they will be able to continue to deliver impressive investment returns to assist our charitable objectives."

NewSmith said: "We are proud to be forming an important partnership with a Aaa/AAA charitable institution that has a sophisticated understanding of financial markets and a genuinely long-term investment horizon.

"Access to the Wellcome Trust's funding will enable us to accelerate our programme of attracting outstanding managers to develop existing products and to launch new products for institutional investors."

The Wellcome Trust was advised by Lazard & Co. Ltd. while NewSmith was advised by Ernst & Young.