BNP Paribas Wealth Management was one of the first private banks to get involved with philanthropy offering a philanthropic service for its clients and launching initiatives to promote awareness and discussion on the subject. As such, since 2007, the bank has organised an international conference on philanthropy and sustainable development, and, since 2008 has hosted Awards for Individual Philanthropy which rewards remarkable initiatives of major philanthropists.
On June 17, 2010, the Grand Prix and the Special Prize were awarded at the Second Philanthropy and Sustainable Development Event organised by BNP Paribas.
The winners were chosen by an independent jury, made up of experts from artistic, cultural entrepreneurial and associative circles, chaired by Suzanne Berger, Professor of Political Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
The jury studied the profiles of twenty nominees and made their decisions, based on different criteria such as the social impact of the project, the philanthropist's personal and financial investment, professionalism, viability and even transparency.
There are two Awards: the Grand Prix rewards an individual recognised for their overall philanthropic activity, who has invested substantial resources in projects and who owns their own capital-based philanthropic structure (foundation or fund). BNP Paribas publishes a book each year dedicated to the Winner, recognizing their initiative and commitment.
The Jury's Special Prize recognises a committed philanthropist who has been implementing an innovative and original project that they initiated, that has been in existence for at least three years, but is still in either a development stage or a critical stage in its development.
The Winner of the Special Prize is awarded 50,000 euros by the bank.
The Grand Prix was awarded to the Chagnon family and the Special Prize to Chung To in recognition to their commitment and remarkable actions in philanthropy.
The Chagnon family was recognised for the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon which supports the overall development of children, and that promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages the continuation of schooling among young people in Quebec. The Foundation was created in 1988 by Lucie and André Chagnon but it was in 2000 that the charity really took off. With the support of their children, they decided to dedicate themselves to philanthropy and the family invested 75% of their assets into the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon which became the largest private foundation in Canada. The Foundation aims to combat the causes, not just the consequences, of poverty and disease and to support communities in their initiatives and their search for innovative, global and sustainable solutions.
The Foundation believes that educational success is a key factor in these issues and that prevention and early intervention increases the chance of academic success and a healthy lifestyle. Academic success facilitates personal development, intellectual autonomy, integration into the working world and participation in the development of society. In partnership with the Government of Quebec, the Foundation contributes to key projects such as Québec en Forme, the aim of which is to promote healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle among the young people of Quebec. The Chagnon family is highly involved in the operation of the Foundation. André is Chairman of the Board, his son, Claude, as Chairman, is Chief Operating Officer, and his other two children, Christian and Isabelle, are also members of the Board of Directors.
Chung To was awarded the Special Prize for his commitment to helping children in families affected by AIDS in rural areas of Central and South-western China and for his work in protecting high risk populations, including homosexuals, sex workers and youth communities in Chinese cities. The Chi Heng Foundation was created in 1998 and has since helped more than 12,000 children affected by AIDS in more than 200 villages spread across eight Chinese provinces.
Chung To was born in Hong Kong but moved to the United States with his family at the age of 15. When he returned 13 years later, in 1995, he was struck by the Chinese population's ignorance about the AIDS virus. He therefore decided to create the Chi Heng Foundation (“wisdom in action”) in order to provide homosexuals and sex industry workers with the means to protect themselves. The Foundation's work then spread to rural China, where many people were dying, particularly children, due to contaminated blood transfusions. In 2002, Chung To put aside his career in finance in order to fully dedicate himself to the Foundation.
The independent jury was made up of:
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Chairman of the Good Planet Foundation and photographer
- Suzanne Berger, Professor of Political Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Chairman of the Jury
- Albina du Boisrouvray, Chairman of the FXB Association, (Winner of 2009 Special Prize)
- Michael Golden, Vice Chairman, The New York Times Company
- Lorenz de Habsbourg, banker and company director
- Maria Nowak, Chairman of Adie (Right to Economic Initiative association)
- Michel Pébereau, Chairman of BNP Paribas, honorary Jury member
- Jacques Rigaud, Honorary State Councillor, former Chairman and CEO of RTL
- Louis Schweitzer, Former Chairman and CEO of Renault Automobile Group, Former Chairman of the Haute Autorité de Lutte contre les Discriminations et pour l'Egalité (Halde)
- Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at the University of Harvard, Nobel Prize in Economics, 1998
- Odon Vallet, Specialist Professor on Religion, Chairman of the Fondation Vallet, 2009 Grand Prix
About BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management (www.wealthmanagement.bnpparibas.com) is the eurozone's leading private bank, and ranked 7th largest private bank globally. Present in nearly 30 countries, it has 247 billion euros of assets under management at the end of March 2010. It employs more than 5,300 professionals based in every major financial centre helping its clients to optimise and manage their assets.