An inaugural conference promoting the benefits, issues and challenges of philanthropic giving has been held in Gibraltar. This annual event was organized by the Gibraltar Philanthropy Forum (GPF), which was founded by Credit Suisse, EY, Hassans and Isolas earlier this year. The Forum will act as a facilitator, promoting and sharing knowledge and best practice around the topic, highlighting the need for philanthropy and how to make an effective and informed contribution.

The Forum and conference were officially launched at a dinner on Monday evening (18 November) by keynote speaker, The Rt Hon Sir John Major, KG, CH, former Prime Minister United Kingdom and Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse, who spoke at the conference about the role of private philanthropy in the 21st Century.

Monday’s dinner was held at Gibraltar International Airport’s Wessex Lounge and was attended by around 70 guests. The event was also attended by Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, and Minister for Education and Justice, Gilbert Licudi.

Forum member Credit Suisse is represented by one of its Directors, Trino Cruz, who said the group believes that private philanthropy has an increasingly important role to play in society. ‘The Forum will seek to bring together entrepreneurs, philanthropists and philanthropy specialists, particularly from Gibraltar and the UK, to encourage them to share their valuable insight and experience,’ said Mr Cruz. ‘Many of our jurisdiction’s top professionals have for many years been supporting their clients in their philanthropic endeavours and in so doing we have learnt that there is much that we can do from Gibraltar to assist. We were delighted to welcome Sir John to Gibraltar and thank him for opening the conference for us.’

Peter Montegriffo from Hassans said he was delighted to form part of the initiative and help profile Gibraltar as a location promoting such values and progammes. ‘It is important to start modestly and to build on initial steps incrementally,’ said Mr Montegriffo. ‘Our first event this year was to bring to Gibraltar leading professional and industry leaders who can share their wisdom and experience with us.’

‘We hope this will grow into an annual event at which matters of philanthropic and charitable concerns are debated.  Ultimately, we are trying to encourage a greater engagement with philanthropy among those who attend or learn of our forum.’

Both Joey Garcia from Isolas and Jose Julio Pisharello from EY, expressed their sincere thanks to all who had made this ambitious initiative possible in particular to The Kusuma Trust for their support and to the Governor and staff for supporting the Conference.

Among the topics covered by Tuesday’s (19 November) conference were responsible long-term investment strategies, sustainable returns from ethical investments and the Forbes report on alleviating global poverty. The conference, held at the Convent, was opened by Gilbert Licudi and attended by around 60 invited delegates. The full programme of speakers can be found on the Gibraltar Philanthropy Forum website

Joey Garcia who is also a trustee for the Kusuma Trust commented on the success of the event, and the quality of the speakers involved. ‘one of the main objectives of the forum has been to engage local businesses and individuals on the issues and debate surrounding philanthropy, and I think we have been successful in achieving this over the last few days.’

He added, ‘charitable giving is something that resonates loudly in our community and it is our hope that with events of this kind we are able to capture the imagination of those in a position to give of their wealth, both corporate and individual, by talking about the powerful impact of philanthropic giving around the world.’

Further details on the Forum can be found on