Opening Address by MS Foo Mee Har at the Launch of the Impact Philanthropy Partnership at the Asian Civilisations Museum on 28 March at 1700 Hours


Chairman Lee Han Shih,

Chairman Fred Tsao,

Colleagues from the Private Banking Industry Group and MAS,

Distinguished Speakers, Guests and Friends,

Good afternoon



  1. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today to the launch of the Impact Philanthropy Partnership, or IPP for short. This is a joint initiative between WMI and the Private Banking Industry Group (PBIG), supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Thank you all for joining us today at our official Launch Event.


  1. The IPP aims to build greater awareness and momentum for philanthropy and newer models of giving such as venture philanthropy and impact investing.


The Importance of Philanthropy

  1. Philanthropy and impact capital are vital in helping to solve the challenges facing our world today, in areas such as climate, global health, inclusive education, income inequality and more. There are many areas of need globally, regionally and here in Singapore.


  1. Often, these areas of need are interlinked. Take climate as an example – it is an existential imperative, and the negative effects of climate change will also exacerbate other areas of need, such as global health and pandemics, inequality and displacement of communities.


  1. We believe that philanthropists and family offices can do tremendous good, especially in areas that lack market support. They can quickly deploy unrestricted funds in response to urgent problems such as natural disasters, back high-risk ventures, convene stakeholders and promote collaboration, develop and share research, and support large-scale implementation of solutions to pressing social problems.


  1. Beyond supporting causes directly, philanthropy can be catalytic. It can have a special role in discovery and experimentation, serving as society’s ‘risk capital’ to foster innovation in important areas that are deemed to carry too much risk for government or private sector appetites.


  1. Many of you in this room are sophisticated philanthropists who give back in different ways. There is a wide continuum of doing good, from pure grant-making to venture philanthropy and the different type of impact investing, and also non-monetary giving such as contribution of time, networks and skills.


  1. Many family principals and offices also tell us they are in the early stages of their impact journey, and would like to learn more. The full house for our launch event today is a testimony of the strong appetite to share, learn and engage.


About the IPP

  1. Over next two years, the IPP will bring to you a Social Impact Discovery Series. This will be a structured programme of forums, roundtables and research publications. We will cover approach-related ‘how-to’ topics, as well as cause-related topics focused on specific areas of need locally and regionally.


  1. We will convene thought leaders, changemakers and innovative philanthropists around the world. It is our hope that through the IPP, we can inspire a broader movement for more strategic and impactful giving.


  1. As CEO of WMI, I am truly excited about this unique opportunity to mobilise the philanthropic community to be a force for good. We will provide a trusted environment for sharing, learning and collaboration.  We look forward to advancing capabilities and knowledge to enable impactful giving.


Defining ‘Success’ in Making Impact and Speaker Introductions

  1. Who better to guide us on this journey than some of the leading philanthropists in Asia? At this Launch Event, it is important to kick off by asking what inspires philanthropists and what does success look like. Philanthropy is deeply personal to each family, and ‘success’ in making impact may look very different for different families.


  1. Today, we are privileged to be joined by two inspirational philanthropy leaders – Chairman Lee Han Shih from Whampoa Group and the Lee Foundation, and Chairman Fred Tsao from IMC Group and Tsao Foundation. Mr Lee is no stranger to many of us in this room, being the Executive Director of the Lee Foundation, one of South East Asia’s largest and most impactful philanthropic organisations, especially in public education and healthcare. He is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Whampoa Group family office, and the Founder and Head of Potato Group, an investment firm. He and his family are deeply generous and often support unheralded causes in areas of great need. We will hear his insights on how Singapore philanthropy can better serve our local communities.


  1. Mr Tsao is a veteran in the family business ecosystem, in his current role as Chairman of the Council of Wisdom for the Family Business Network International. In addition to being a Board Member at the Tsao Foundation, he has also driven significant positive impact through ‘conscious capitalism’ in his family business, IMC Group. Mr Tsao is also a prolific author, with over 40 books published on leadership, business and philanthropic impact. He will touch on what we must do to make the paradigm shift to harness our humanity towards impactful change.


  1. Following that we will have a panel discussion from an inspirational group from the next-generation of philanthropists, impact investors and changemakers – Rebecca Eu, Rebekah Lin and Fernando Scodro. They will share their perspectives on how they and their families defined success and forged their own impact paths.


Thank You

  1. I would like to end by expressing my gratitude to all those who have made this Partnership possible. Thank you to our wonderful speakers for gracing this launch and sharing your insights.


  1. Thank you to our partners in this initiative, MAS and each of the member banks of PBIG, in alphabetical order, Bank of Singapore, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, DBS, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Julius Baer, LGT, Pictet, Standard Chartered, UBS and UOB. We each play a vital role in this partnership to convene the community and amplify its impact.


  1. Thank you to all the non-profit ecosystem partners, including Temasek Trust’s Philanthropy Asia Alliance who are here today. Through this initiative, we hope to showcase our an increasingly vibrant non-profit ecosystem in Singapore and Asia.


  1. Lastly, thank you to all in the audience today for joining us. I hope that you will leave today inspired with new ideas on ‘what success in making impact’ could mean for you, and also connected to new friends who can you share your journey.


  1. Thank you.