The Potential Of 'Strategic Philanthropy'

There's more to philanthropy than writing a check-that is, for big-bucks donors who wish to really get involved and who want to follow their gifted money as it stimulates entrepreneurship and small business development in developing countries while driving social change.

No small order. But a new report from Credit Suisse Private Banking USA and CSR Asia (a provider of information, training, research, and consultancy services on sustainable business practices in Asia), entitled Strategic Philanthropy: Unlocking Entrepreneurial Potential, explores the potential of this type of  "strategic philanthropy." The white paper looks at how ultra-high-net-worth individuals can make philanthropic activities more strategic and sustainable; how they can use their wealth and skills to support emerging markets; and why they can be assured that their efforts will actually make a difference.

Bill Woodson, head of Credit Suisse's Family Wealth Management group, said the report supplies UHNWIs with the "thought leadership" they need to accomplish these goals, providing them and their families with "insights as they look toward donating significant amounts of their fortune to philanthropy."

The report cites inspiring worldwide case studies of how philanthropists have used their wealth to unlock entrepreneurial potential in emerging markets. The paper describes the "impact value chain" (the measurement of incremental impact being a crucial component of successful philanthropy) and the various measurement tools that help to identify positive and negative changes in a given community resulting from donor investments.

Donor support can be aimed at providing access to affordable capital; offering business knowledge and experience and stimulating entrepreneurial education;and  engaging marginalized groups in entrepreneurial-type opportunities. Venture philanthropy investments are explored as a tool to support initiatives while generating financial, environmental or social returns such as the reduction of poverty. The paper includes a wide range of practical examples of organizations, funds, networks, and businesses that have developed various approaches to encourage entrepreneurship in developing countries.

"By focusing support on enterprises that bring about systematic change-for example, in women and youth-there is an opportunity to provide substantial economic and social value," said Woodson. For more information about the white paper contact Kristine Duckett at 212-325-6830 or by e-mail at

In other news ... 

Hedge funds finished 2010 with double-digit gains, but they trailed the average stock market indexes and fell short of the average stock mutual fund's returns as well as their own gains in 2009, according to the Hennessee Group, a hedge fund advisory. In 2010, global hedge funds on average returned 10.2% to their wealthy investors, according to Hennessee Group. For further information go to

Get ready for the start of the "Great Distression," says cultural critic Adam Hanft, founder and CEO of the marketing and branding firm Hanft Projects and a blogger for CNN. The "distression" will include "crimes of envy," or an outpouring of assaults on affluence, he says. In the face of withering charitable donations, expect during 2011 at least one high-profile bankruptcy of a cultural institution, disease-related charity or other worthy institution, Hanft says. For more information go to

A strong December rally in equities drove the funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan 3.8 percentage points higher, to 84.3%, their best position since March 2010, according to BNY Mellon Asset Management. While pension funded status was volatile throughout the year, it finished 2010 0.8 percentage points above the December 2009 level of 83.5%, according to the report.

U.S. private equity fund-raising declined in 2010 even further from the low levels of 2009, as 336 funds raised $86.3 billion, down 16% from the $102.2 billion raised by 366 funds in 2009, according to Dow Jones LP Source. While most sectors experienced a slowdown, distressed debt funds, mezzanine funds and industry-focused funds raised more money than they did in 2009, according to the report. For further information go to

Wedbush Securities, a Los Angeles-based brokerage and investment bank, is in takeover talks with four companies that would bolster its trade-processing capabilities and expand its presence in U.S. markets. The family-controlled firm also plans to grow its U.S. wealth management business through the expansion of its private-client network by more than 70%, to 600 brokers with 15 new offices.

Returns for the LAB Liquid Indices suggest that hedge funds experienced positive performance in December, according to Jordan Drachman, head of research for alternative beta strategies at Credit Suisse. All five indices posted positive performance for the month and each liquid index is expected to finish in positive territory for the year. The Event Driven Liquid Index posted the strongest returns, finishing up 13.66% year-to-date, Drachman said. For further information go to

A small network of hedge fund executives reportedly pumped at least $10 million into Republican campaign committees and allied groups in the November elections, according to an investigative report by Peter Stone, a senior political reporter for The Center for Public Integrity, and Michael Isikoff, a national investigative correspondent for NBC News. The donations helped bankroll GOP victories and secure vital new allies at a time when hedge fund executives are "fending off some regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and aggressive Justice Department investigation into insider trading," according to the article. For more information go to

In December, defined benefit pension plans experienced asset increases of $24 billion and liability decreases of $20 billion, resulting in a $44 billion increase in pension funded status for the month, according to the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index. For 2010, these pensions experienced asset increases of $50 billion but a liability increase of $99 billion, increasing the pension funded status deficit by $49 billion, said the actuarial and consulting firm. For further information go to

Small-business CEOs expressed a strong resurgence of optimism--the highest level in over five years--both in the overall economy and for their own companies, according to the Vistage CEO Confidence Index, compiled by Vistage International Inc., a chief executive organization headquartered in San Diego. Of survey respondents, 77% expect increased revenues, 63% foresee higher profits in their own companies and 54% expect to hire more employees in 2011. For more information go to

A majority of Americans (61%) think the U.S. government should raise taxes for the rich to tackle the $1.3 trillion deficit and balance the budget, according to a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll. Some 58% of respondents making between $50,000 and $100,000 per year rated tax hikes as the best first step to balancing the budget, while 46% of those making more than $100,000 said it was their top choice, as well. For further information about the poll go to

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had declined in the third quarter, bounced back in the final quarter of 2010. The measure now reads 62, up from 50 in the previous quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). "The improvement in both current and future conditions suggests a strong finish to 2010 and continued growth in the first half of 2011," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. For further information go to


The Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Outlook Conference, which will assess new government regulations and reform initiatives, will be held January 25 and 26 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. For information go to or call 866-291-1800.

HMG Strategy, a producer of CIO executive leadership events in North America, will present its annual CIO Summit of America at the Harvard Club in New York City on January 31. To register for this event and for a listing of upcoming events go to

Family Office Exchange, a provider of research, education and networking support to private wealth owners, family office executives and wealth advisors, is holding a workshop-"The Evolution of the Small Family Office: Models for Sustainability"-on February 1 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. Registration is limited to individuals who own or work in family offices with fewer than ten employees. For more information go to

Servant Leadership Institute, a leadership resource center, will host their first annual winter conference February 1-3 at the Hilton Harbor Island Hotel in San Diego. Registration information is available at or by contacting Danielle Aguas at

On The Move

PrivateBancorp Inc.
has hired William T. Norris to serve as chief investment officer and head of trust and investments for The Private Bank, the firm's private wealth group, which provides trust and investment services and private banking to high-net-worth families. Norris was previously at J.P. Morgan Chase, where he was managing director and the chief fiduciary investment officer for J.P. Morgan's Private Bank and Private Wealth Management Services Fiduciary Group.

Gemini Fund Services LLC in Hauppauge, N.Y., which serves as a strategic partner and resource to advisors that want to bring their own investment vehicles to market  has appointed Britt Averett as client services manager and David Jurczak as a senior sales and distribution consultant at Northern Lights Distributors, Gemini's sister company and a broker-dealer and mutual fund distributor.

HighTower, a Chicago-based financial services company serving high-net-worth and institutional clients, has completed its first tuck-in transaction (under which an individual advisor has agreed to join one of its existing partner firms). Steve Bogner has joined HighTower in the practice led by Richard Saperstein in New York. Bogner, who currently manages $80 million in client assets, previously spent 11 years as an advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney's private wealth management division.

Accounting firms Goodman & Company LLP and Dixon Hughes PLLC will merge their firms and affiliated entities, effective March 1. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the combined firm will be known as Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. With more than 1,700 people in 30 offices in 11 states and Washington, D.C., it will be the largest CPA firm based in the Southern U.S. and the 13th largest in the U.S. Thomas H. Wilson, managing partner of Goodman & Co., will become deputy chairman and COO of the new firm. Charles Edgar Sams Jr., chairman of Dixon Hughes, will continue to serve as chairman, and present Dixon Hughes CEO Kenneth M. Hughes will remain in that position.

Odin, Feldman & Pittleman P.C., based in Fairfax, Va., has merged with Zell Law, a boutique estate and business planning firm in Reston, Va. The new firm will operate as Odin, Feldman & Pittleman P.C.

U.S. Trust has appointed five wealth management executives to serve the company's ultra-high-net-worth clients. Hired were Lisa Adelstein, senior VP and Private Client advisor, Chicago; Jay Bartley, Private Client advisor, Fort Worth, Texas; Elizabeth Elgie, Private Client advisor, Fort Worth, Texas; Jason Garcia, VP and Private Client advisor, Dallas; and Michael Rogala, senior VP and Private Client advisor, Houston. U.S. Trust has also bulked up its private wealth management ranks with the addition of Dwayne Brown, John Devine, and Karin Gifuni of Wells Fargo, who joined as senior VPs in U.S. Trust's McLean, Va., office. Frank Levin of Bank of New York Mellon's wealth management arm was added to U.S. Trust's New York City office and Joel Yudenfreund joined the company's Boca Raton, Fla., office from Citigroup's private bank.

WBI Investments Inc.
, a money management firm in Little Silver, N.J., specializing in absolute return strategies focusing on investing in high-yield dividend paying stocks, has appointed Mike Buchholz as the firm's new national sales manager, responsible for increasing the distribution and sale of WBI's separately managed account portfolios and mutual funds to advisors, and overseeing the national sales force.

Bingham, a Boston-based law firm whose focus includes the financial services sector, has elected 13 lawyers to its partnership. They are: Brandon L. Bigelow, a member of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group; Benjamin C. Burkhart, Private Equity; David S. Cannon, Intellectual Property; Sandra Franco, Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resources; Rafael I. Galvan, Energy and Project Finance; Robert J. Gross, Structured Transactions; Christopher E. Lawrence, Institutional Finance; Steven L. Miller, Banking and Leveraged Finance; Brian C. Rocca, Antitrust and Trade Regulation; Gerald J. Russello, Broker-Dealer; Joshua B. Sterling, Investment Management; Corin R. Swift, Broker-Dealer; and Bradford D. Whitehurst, Tax and Employee Benefits.

Greenway Family Office in St. Louis has added as a partner Tracey C. Marshall, a former educator and active civic volunteer. Marshall will help develop and implement individualized philanthropic strategies for the company's ultra-affluent client families, as well as evaluate charities and establish a program for next-generation family client members.

--Cort Smith