A professional approach to philanthropy can bring about positive change for the future on an incredible scale. Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance shares his insights with Stephen Penn

For many people, when acquiring a lot of money, they want to use it for the good of the world. Therefore it comes as no surprise that philanthropy and impact investment are on the rise across the globe, as High Net Worth individuals invest more and more into improving the lives of others.

However, as philanthropic endeavours have become more sophisticated, a gap has emerged between the desire to engage in philanthropic activity and the knowledge and tools required to bring that ambition to fruition.

“In order for philanthropy to be included as part of holistic wealth management strategies, it needs to be specifically tailored so as to not only empower investors and families but also help advisers deepen their relationships with clients and support them better in achieving their long-term goals,” says Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance.

This increase in philanthropic endeavour is clear. The 2017 Coutts Million Pound Donors Report found that the total value of donations of £1m or more rose from £1.37bn in 2006/07 to a record high of £1.83bn in 2016. The number of donations, meanwhile, rose from 189 in 2006/07 to 310 in 2016 – an increase of 64%.

In Jersey that trend is clear, with firms reporting rising interest in establishing charitable and philanthropic structures. The number of Foundation structures registered in Jersey grew by 9% last year, meaning that a total of more than 350 foundations have now been set up since the structure’s introduction in 2009.

Around a third of these are established with a philanthropic purpose and accompanying this appetite increase to integrate a philanthropic strand into a wealth management strategy is a growing need for high quality professional advice, guidance and education. According to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation and Scorpio Partnership (2015), philanthropists are looking for advice in a broad range of areas, including tax (17% of respondents), understanding need and selecting social causes (12%), and selecting charitable organisations and projects (11%).

In line with this, Jersey has set out on a journey in recent years to create a robust professional environment for philanthropy. The recently introduced Jersey Charities Law provides an innovative framework for advisers to deliver high quality globally-focused philanthropic solutions.

“We at Jersey Finance know that this framework is having a positive impact, enabling individuals and families to pursue philanthropic objectives through Jersey that are enabling welfare projects in East Africa and South Asia, providing scholarships and training for young people in Asia, and providing medical aid, education, water distribution and helping the elderly in Latin America, Africa and India,” adds Geoff.

“With an existing wealth of expertise and knowledge in wealth management, Jersey has committed to working with key stakeholders to map out a positive future for professionalism in philanthropy and impact investing. The new law is a clear demonstration of the commitment the jurisdiction has made to the evolving philanthropic landscape, and to supporting those with philanthropic intentions.”

www.jerseyfinance.je (0)1534 836000.

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