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Credit Suisse holds global Philanthropists Forum in Singapore

The two-day Credit Suisse Philanthropists Forum 2011 – “The Road to Giving” opens in Singapore today. 29 leading global philanthropists and opinion leaders will be sharing their experiences with more than 100 participants including select clients and guests of the Bank from around the world. At the Forum, Credit Suisse is also launching SymAsia Foundation Limited, a new philanthropic foundation for client giving.

The Forum’s Guest of Honor Mr Goh Chok Tong , Senior Minister of the Republic of Singapore will deliver the keynote address on “Singapore as a Philanthropy Hub”, Urs Rohner , Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Credit Suisse Group, will host the Forum, while The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH , senior advisor to Credit Suisse, together with Professor Tommy Koh , Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of SymAsia will lead and moderate some of the discussions.

The Forum is designed for participants who see philanthropic endeavors as investments from a social perspective, and who want to make a measurable, sustainable impact on the world. It provides a platform for like-minded individuals to discuss the most urgent and pressing issues related to philanthropy today, ranging from more systematic and impactful giving to grant-making practices, new philanthropy models and venture philanthropy. The Forum will also provide an opportunity for leading philanthropists to discuss their own personal giving experience. The speakers will also highlight specific societal needs, including accessible education, disaster risk reduction, environmental protection and housing rights, and provide insights into possible solutions to the various issues.

Speakers include Emmy Award-winning musician, author and philanthropist Peter Buffet; Jamie Augusto Zobel De Ayala II , Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ayala Corporation of the Philippines; H.R.H. Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah , a strong advocate of philanthropy in Malaysia; Chew Gek Khim , Deputy Chairman of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation of Singapore; John Wood , founder and Board Chair of Room to Read; Margareta Wahlstrom , United Nations’ Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction; Somsook Boonyabancha , Secretary General of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights; Dorjee Sun , CEO of Carbon Conservation, Chris Cusano , Change Leader, ASEAN of Ashoka, Innovators for the Public, Carrillo Gantner AO , Chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund and Apolo Anton Ohno , an eight-time Olympic medalist in short track speed skating and a celebrity supporter of Special Olympics International, along with many other noted philanthropists and opinion leaders.

Forum Chairman and Vice Chairman Asia Pacific and CEO Singapore of Credit Suisse Lito Camacho said: “Credit Suisse is privileged to hold its first global forum of this scale and format on the topic of philanthropy – a topic that is increasingly important for our clients around the world. Singapore is a highly appropriate location for this global Forum, given that it is not only a major financial center in a region witnessing rapid wealth creation, but also a region that still has many human development needs. This makes Singapore a unique hub for Asian philanthropic activity.

The Forum emphasizes the need for solutions and to act on the social issues that governments alone cannot address and highlights the importance of private and individual efforts. The Forum represents Credit Suisse’s commitment to its clients in bringing together some of the world’s expert practitioners to help address the pressing concerns of those who are in the position to make a difference in society through their philanthropic acts. We hope that this Forum will not only be an opportunity for knowledge exchange but will also go a long way in encouraging new philanthropic endeavours in the region and globally.”

Credit Suisse’s “Sustainable Impact Philanthropy” Model
The Credit Suisse Philanthropists Forum brings together the most important themes in Credit Suisse’s “Sustainable Impact Philanthropy” Model that helps clients choose the best means to meet their philanthropic goals and make a lasting social impact. The Bank can assist clients in identifying the right philanthropic cause and project through the expertise of its client foundations, such as SymAsia Foundation, and execute and monitor the results of the charity projects. Credit Suisse also leverages its integrated bank platform to help clients optimize the financial vehicles for their social projects, such as investments into socially responsible companies and products or even setting up their own microfinance or social businesses, to ensure sustainable and impactful philanthropy.