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UBS hosts Philanthropy Forum Asia in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Media Releases APAC

"Values and Vision: Perspectives on Philanthropy in 21st Century China", a study supported by UBS and conducted and published by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, will be launched at the UBS Philanthropy Forum.

"Values and Vision: Perspectives on Philanthropy in 21st Century China", a study supported by UBS and conducted and published by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, will be launched at the UBS Philanthropy Forum. 

Hong Kong, 7 June 2017 – The seventh UBS Philanthropy Forum Asia will be held for the first time in Hong Kong on 8 and 9 June. Its theme is: "Legacy and Philanthropy: New Pathways to Impact".

Leading philanthropists, impact investors, and business owners have registered to attend the Forum at which Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive-Elect of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), will discuss ways that the public and private sectors can collaborate to relieve social issues in Hong Kong including poverty, education, and environment.

"We are delighted to host the UBS Philanthropy Forum Asia in Hong Kong. Asia Pacific continues to lead the world in wealth creation, and a large part of private wealth in the region is expected to change hands over the next 20 years. As we traverse this seminal point, there is an increased focus on the part of the region's wealthy on how to best create measurable impact in the society." said Amy Lo, Head Greater China and Co-head Global UHNW, Asia Pacific, UBS Wealth Management, and Country Head of UBS Hong Kong.

China accounted for 80 out of 113 of Asia's new billionaire entrepreneurs in 2015, according to UBS and PwC's 2016 Billionaires Report. Deeply rooted in the country's cultural motivation to give back, philanthropy in China is undergoing fundamental shifts. The study, written by Paula D. Johnson and Tony Saich of Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, interviewed over 30 wealth holders, 15 experts in the field, and staff from several Chinese foundations. The study aims not only to explore how philanthropy has evolved in China but also identify opportunities for increasing philanthropic engagement in China today.

Key findings include:

  • Giving is increasing and becoming more institutionalized with two-thirds of individuals interviewed for the study having established or planning to establish foundations.
  • Education is a high priority for philanthropists with a focus on creating opportunity and promoting equality in China’s rural and poor provinces. A number of new philanthropic initiatives are building on China’s accomplishments in technology-based innovation.
  • Philanthropy in China is both deep seated and continues to evolve. While the charitable motivations of China's philanthropists are rooted in traditional Chinese values, there is a willingness to borrow from Western philanthropic practices and a view that philanthropy is an activity in which almost everyone can, and should, engage.

"UBS is delighted to support this project. It has provided a unique insight into the motivations and aspirations that drive philanthropists in China," said Christina Tung, Head of Philanthropy Advisory, APAC, UBS Wealth Management.

Key speakers at the Forum (in order of appearance) are:

  • Charly Kleissner, Co-founder, KL Felicitas Foundation
  • Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board, Audemars Piguet Holding
  • Paula D. Johnson, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
  • Paul Donovan, Global Chief Economist, UBS Wealth Management
  • Binod Chaudhary, President, CG Corp Global
  • Charles Chen, Founder, The Yidan Prize
  • Auma Obama, Project Lead, Sauti Kuu Foundation
  • Carrie Lam, Chief Executive-Elect, HKSAR
  • Nicoletta Mantovani Pavarotti, President, Luciano Pavarotti Foundation

UBS has advised on philanthropy, strategic charitable giving and investing with social impact for more than 10 years. The more than 40-strong UBS Philanthropy team includes experts on all aspects of philanthropy including strategic charitable giving and social impact investing. The UBS Optimus Foundation supports programs that benefit the world's most vulnerable children through funding by our clients and the firm. From 2011 until 2016, UBS was named "Best Private Bank Globally for Philanthropy" by Euromoney.

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Fiona Chan

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