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Families in philanthropy

Thierry Lombard is managing partner of Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie.

It has been estimated that multi-generational families contribute as much as $10 billion every year to their local or global communities. The IMD-Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Award will honour three families who have made a special contribution to society, reports Thierry Lombard

As independent private bankers since 1796, one could summarise our family values and heritage by saying: "We are not good because we are old, we are old because we are good". This quote encapsulates the spirit driving the IMD-Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Distinguished Family Business Award which, for ten years, has been given to outstanding family businesses, recognising their multigenerational commitment to continuity and the excellence of family governance.

Over the past ten years, we have witnessed their economic ­success, the development of their activities and the special contributions each of these families has made to their communities, and noted the importance of philanthropy to the strength and the values of their family and corporations. As Harvard Professor Michael Porter says, "Today's companies should invest in corporate social responsibility as part of their business strategy to become more competitive. Corporate success depends on the local environment and the company's social initiatives – or its philanthropy". Collective family philanthropy is about using corporate and family resources to create social value. Bringing family business and philanthropic interests into harmony means that everybody wins.
 
In 2006, IMD and Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch wish to recognise the philanthropic commitment and the generous sharing that exemplifies family businesses all around the world. We would also like to recognise the special care and capability families in business bring to their philanthropic works. Entrepreneurial skills, risk management and courage all have their part to play. Society benefits from their diversity of thought and approach. They bring a multigenerational perspective; they bring the example of giving a sense of responsibility to their employees; they bring their time and reputation; they bring a culture of efficiency and they bring their leadership skills. We believe family businesses are not fully acknowledged for the distinct contributions they make to our society.

The 2006 IMD-Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Distinguished Family Business Award is given to all those families in business who share in this special contribution to society, often quietly and modestly. We wish to honour three families who exemplify the work of so many families. By doing so, we hope to reinforce the work of many so that they might inspire others. New for 2006, the award will recognise the great contributions of all those families around the world who pursue collective family philanthropy leveraging these same qualities.
 
It is estimated that multi-generational families give back as much as $10 billion each year to their local or global communities. Collective family philanthropy has the power to be more effective than individual giving. Multi-generational family giving also strengthens the family's unity, sprit of giving and competence at giving for future generations and decades to come. Families in philanthropy, in addition to their time and talents, bring other important gifts to help shape the world. To distinguish family businesses in philanthropy, the members of the selection committee have established the following key criteria of excellence:

- adherence to mission across generations;
- entrepreneurial or breakthrough insight or impact;
- excellence in accountability (assessment and evaluation);
- excellence in performance standards;
- clarity of corporate sponsorship (marketing), corporate reputation (identity and branding) and family giving (private and separate);
- family values driven;
- preparation, commitment, education of next generation;
- sharing learning with others;
- excellence in governance (selection, development and independence);
- synergies with employees, motivating employees to participate (time and/or money);
- collaborating with other families for leverage and learning.

As members of the Family Business Network, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch and IMD wish to pay tribute to families in philanthropy. We shall be honoured to recognise three representatives from among them all in a ceremony on September 21, 2006, at a Gala Dinner in Monaco, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II.

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