Why Not Switzerland?
For us, it is important to analyze all the vested interests and motivations at play in trying to establish a foundation. Being honest and direct – with sometimes critical feedback – is in the best interest of the client, and should always be pursued over our own interests.
A well-known international foundation desired to endow a sister foundation with CHF 500 million, but was getting conflicted information on the best way to do so. As specialists in the Swiss foundation governance and law, we were brought in by Geneva- and Paris-based Philanthropy Advisors to help the foundation see through the fog and make better informed decisions about how to move forward.
We traveled overseas to the headquarters to meet with the foundation management and staff, and conducted extensive research, for example on property rental prices and cantonal regulations regarding the establishment of foundations. Through this process it became clear that, contrary to their expectations, setting up a foundation would in fact not bring the benefits that they envisioned. The financial costs and manpower would bring little additional return to the foundation, and their plan would lock up a significant portion of its endowment . Instead, we recommended to strengthen their operations abroad and to focus their resources in a more efficient way.