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Benevolent Fund hit by stockmarket loss

THE BENEVOLENT Fund lost close to ú2M ($2.7M) on the stockmarket last year, accounts for 2000 show.

Figures published in the latest annual report reveal that income from investments last year was $119,863 down on 1999.

Trading by the fund's investment managers resulted in realised and unrealised losses of $1.9M and $730,392. The total value of the fund at the year end stood at $20.1M.

Losses were partially offset by increased income from bequests and donations, up on 1999 levels by over $206,714. Expenditure on benevolence decreased by over $55,000.

The Fund is entering a period of rapid change, said ICE president and fund chairman Joe Dwyer. The future of the fund's Mill Hill Close Estate is coming under particular scrutiny.

Following a nationwide survey, the Committee of Management concluded that Mill Hill Close is too inflexible to meet members' varying needs. A further review has since been set in motion to consider whether the estate should be retained at all .

It is increasingly felt that the fund can best serve the ICE's nationally and globally dispersed members by providing other kinds of financial benefit.

Last year more than 260 members or families of members worldwide received financial benefit. Of these only 18 were new beneficiaries, pompting Dwyer to urge members to encourage those in need to come forward. 'Only be identifying those in need can the fund carry out its good works, ' he said

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