A guide to philanthropy: when values meet lasting impact

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A guide to philanthropy: when values meet lasting impact

The spectacular development of interest in philanthropy amongst the wealthy is continuing. In a world characterised by so much change, there are many reasons - worries about the planet, social needs, scepticism about the future of capital markets, and the desire to pass on family values to the next generation.

But despite huge interest, many are not sure how to make a lasting contribution. This is where wealth managers come in. Given our longstanding philanthropic track record at Lombard Odier, we are uniquely placed to provide compelling solutions to those who want to leave a legacy. The first questions that need to be addressed are:

  • What do we want to achieve through philanthropy?
  • What values do we want to express?
  • How can we translate our aspirations into a plan?
  • How can we establish the right contacts with reputable philanthropic organisations and peers?

In our White Paper Series published online, our Global Head of Philanthropy Dr Maximilian Martin shares insights from our advisory practice into a number of issues that are core to an effective approach to giving, including new financing instruments beyond grants.

Given our longstanding philanthropic track record at Lombard Odier, we are uniquely placed to provide compelling solutions to those who want to leave a legacy

In a nutshell

Entitled “Rethinking Philanthropy”, the first paper in the series takes a look at several topics, which have been of particular interest to our client philanthropists.

Rethinking attitudes

Many of today's philanthropists want to marry values and a worldview with effectiveness, social impact, and market mechanisms. At Lombard Odier, we have a role to play both on the structuring and programmatic side and with asset management. When it makes sense, we recommend a fully tailor-made solution and in other cases, a “sheltered solution”. With our tax-efficient charitable vehicle Fondation Philanthropia, we have a proven instrument to deliver on aspirations.


Rethinking education

The future value of tomorrow's talent is starting to be seen as an investment opportunity, and innovative new vehicles for business in education systems have emerged. Education philanthropy comes in many guises and the arrival of online education at near zero marginal cost holds the prospect of education for all for the first time in human history. As science and technology become ever more central to education, philanthropists can make a huge difference in attracting and developing the best brains. When clients set ambitious goals, our advisory process enables them to translate their philanthropic aspirations into a sound action plan. We can recommend a fully tailor-made solution such as an independent foundation and with Fondation Philanthropia, we have a ready-made tax-efficient vehicle to deliver on our clients' philanthropic goals in an effective, engaging and hassle-free manner.

Education philanthropy comes in many guises and the arrival of online education at near zero marginal cost holds the prospect of education for all for the first time in human history

Rethinking climate change

Many of the world's most pressing challenges are environmental. For a wealthy client, there are thousands of organisations to choose from but the key questions to figure out are whether they have a local or global mind-set; whether they are passionate about a single issue and what kinds of activities are of interest. At Lombard Odier, we believe it is important to tap into our creative energies to provide our clients with the solutions they need. The area has progressed a long way from protecting seals in the 1970s - today investors could be as likely to invest in a TV series which delves into the problems facing the planet.

The area has progressed a long way from protecting seals in the 1970s - today investors could be as likely to invest in a TV series which delves into the problems facing the planet

Rethinking “Next-Gen” Philanthropy

The vast majority of millennials think business success should be measured by more factors than financial performance and in their philanthropy, Next Gen'ers are a lot more flexible in how to go about achieving social impact. They are eager to conduct 'due diligence' into projects, like to find solutions to the root causes of problems and look for how impactful an organisation is before supporting it. Lombard Odier can strike the right balance between tradition and change. And as technology leaders in our industry, we are particularly excited about the use of tech and innovative, high-ambition projects.

We are particularly excited about the use of tech and innovative, high-ambition projects

Rethinking Healthcare

Traditional health philanthropy focused on research, technologies or outpatient services but the last two decades have seen a shift towards looking at the social determinants of health, which has brought fresh insights. Further advances have been possible with analytics, data and technology, which has allowed for more preventative medicine, e-health, new collaborations and the use of the internet of things. The re-configuration of healthcare opens up tremendous new opportunities for health philanthropy – while raising the stakes regarding the need to achieve success.

The re-configuration of healthcare opens up tremendous new opportunities for health philanthropy

Rethinking Arts and Culture

Private philanthropy remains critical to artistic life and it has gone through profound change. Venture capital style approaches to supporting artists have now emerged, bolstering artists' skills in fundraising, public speaking and planning as well as art, which in turn supports them in the long-term. Art also acts as an investment and there has been a rise in buying and investing in collectibles. While the motivation to act as an art patron versus that as an art buyer are different, developing both activities in parallel helps to nurture emerging artists. Philanthropy and art investment are thus ultimately complementary.

“Philanthropy is core to our DNA. We are extraordinarily well-placed to help our clients during their philanthropic journey, both on the grant-making and on the investment side”, shared our Senior Managing Partner Patrick Odier

Rethink Foundations

Many charitable foundations are assessing how to adapt to this new world of lower returns and high impact expectations. Private investors are increasingly seeking an impact approach to their investments that is aligned with their giving. Senior managing partner Patrick Odier says: “Philanthropy is core to our DNA. Our longest established client relationship dates back to 1801. We are extraordinarily well-placed to help our clients during their philanthropic journey, both on the grant-making and on the investment side.”

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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