Banking Philanthropy and Client Foundations

Philanthropy and Client Foundations

In the area of philanthropy, Credit Suisse works with clients to help them incorporate their personal values and objectives into their philanthropic engagements and investment strategy. We can also create subfoundations for clients under one of Credit Suisse's umbrella charitable foundations – Accentus, Empiris and Symphasis in Switzerland or SymAsia in Singapore.

We provide a set of tools designed to contribute to making a measurable impact and help tackle social or environmental challenges through philanthropy. We offer solutions for the establishment and management of a client's charitable structure. These solutions may include input into the governance framework and services relating to investment strategy and asset management. Our client foundation offering provides an alternative for clients to creating a charitable foundation of their own.

Credit Suisse Client Foundations

The umbrella foundations Accentus, Empiris and Symphasis in Switzerland and SymAsia in Singapore provide solutions for Credit Suisse clients who wish to use part of their wealth to benefit social causes. Founders have the option of establishing an individual subfoundation during their lifetime or after their death and can freely determine the name, purpose and mode of distribution. By being part of the grants committee, they are able to participate in the selection of supported charitable undertakings. Since the creation of the client foundations Accentus, Empiris and Symphasis, more than 2,900 charitable projects have been supported, with over CHF 121 million distributed. In Singapore, SymAsia has gifted around USD 42 million since it was founded in 2010. As Credit Suisse assumes the foundations' administration and management costs, the great majority of the donations goes directly towards helping worthwhile causes.

The Accentus Foundation

The Accentus Foundation was set up in 2000. The charitable foundation promotes social, humanitarian, cultural, medical, environmental and other charitable causes. The following is a selection of its existing funds:

Lily Waeckerlin Fund

  • hands out an annual award for a high-quality music project in the field of "Youth and Music". The "Lily-Waeckerlin-Preis" (Lily Waeckerlin Prize) aims to motivate children and adolescents to not only approach music as consumers, but to become active themselves. It aims to teach the younger generation social values by having them prepare a piece of music together and through the shared joy and sense of achievement that this offers.


  • supports a number of charitable projects contributing to the conservation and improvement of endangered habitats and to helping the animals that live in them, as well as projects aimed at biodiversity conservation.

Swiss Chess (Schach Schweiz)

  • promotes chess in Switzerland as well as supporting related activities with a link to Switzerland in other countries. The support provided by the foundation extends to chess championships, coaching for young chess talents, chess exhibitions and public-relations activities around the sport.

The Empiris Foundation

The Empiris Foundation was established in 2002 with the aim of supporting projects in research, science and education. The following is a selection of its existing funds:

Martin Stoffel

  • supports clinical research projects in the area of cancer and stem cells.

Judith Linggi

  • supports projects that identify leukemia therapy tailored to children.


  • supports projects researching the causes of Alzheimer's or dealing with therapeutic aspects of the disease.

The Symphasis Foundation

The Symphasis Foundation, founded in 2002, supports and finances charities committed to social, humanitarian or environmental causes, culture, health and sports. The following is a selection of its existing funds:

Protection des forêts tropicales

  • finances projects that help sustain the last original tropical forests in Madagascar, Borneo and the Amazon region and which help the local population of these areas in establishing a livelihood.

Dietrich Peter Schindler

  • supports projects that aim to enable elderly people to lead a more autonomous life and that contribute to the dialogue between different generations.


  • contributes to the education of disadvantaged children from Rio de Janeiro's poorest neighborhoods.
  • finances the construction of hospitals with maternity wards in Eritrea, providing a safe place for women to give birth to their children.

The SymAsia Foundation

SymAsia Foundation Ltd was established in 2010 as a company limited by guarantee with Credit Suisse as the sole subscriber. Via the SymAsia platform, donors may set up their own foundations and direct giving to charitable causes/organizations worldwide. SymAsia will disburse funds as directed. SymaAsia is managed by a professional Credit Suisse team and governed by an independent Board of Directors. SymAsia has partnered with donors to support and promote their charitable causes. Two examples are described in more detail below.

Engagement With Client's Core Business: Luxasia Foundation

The Empowerment of Women Initiative was a Singapore-based project developed with SymAsia's philanthropy advisors to provide women in need of rehabilitation and support vocational skills training, enabling them to build professional competencies as a means for gainful employment. The program resonates with Luxasia Foundation's core business and client constituency.

Leveling the Education Playing Field: Chow Kwai Yoong Foundation

A donor who is passionate about providing equal opportunities to disadvantaged children worked with SymAsia's philanthropy advisors to develop a tutoring program aimed at leveling the educational playing field for children who come from underprivileged families and have poor grades in school. Aside from having students benefit from the learning support they receive, the program also seeks to employ tutors who themselves require additional income to support themselves financially.