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Debiopharm Group™ donates to IMD to promote best practice in family business philanthropy

Debiopharm Group and IMD conclude a generous donation agreement to support a multi-year professorial Chair
May 2016

Family businesses comprise upwards of 70% of companies worldwide and contribute extensively to the global economy and philanthropy today. However many of these families could benefit from more structure and strategy in their philanthropy and could provide support to a wider community of beneficiaries. Family philanthropy also serves to bring together family members and business partners around shared values and helps to strengthen organizations.

That’s why Swiss biopharmaceutical company Debiopharm has now pledged to create a Debiopharm Chair in Family Philanthropy at IMD business school in Lausanne with a donation of several million Swiss francs over the next 15 years.

The purpose of the “The Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy” is to increase the social and financial impact of family giving as well as to develop best practices in family philanthropy by offering tools to strengthen analysis, decision-making processes, performance indicators and governance. Another of its aims will be to leverage philanthropy as a catalyst for the transmission of family values across generations, branches and nationalities. The Chair will strengthen IMD’s teaching and research, and further wider knowledge, in family philanthropy.

Thierry Mauvernay, Co-President and Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group said: “IMD is an ideal partner in our quest to contribute to better family philanthropy due to its expertise and worldwide connections to family businesses. Philanthropy has great potential to strengthen family ties through shared values and to contribute to the longevity and health of family businesses while providing necessary assistance to the most neglected and vulnerable segments of society.”

According to IMD President Dominique Turpin, “IMD is delighted and privileged to have signed an agreement with Debiopharm. Today philanthropy and family-run organizations are contributing a great deal to shaping the business world and society at large. Thanks to Debiopharm, IMD is proud to play a bigger part in that.”

IMD is currently identifying ideal candidates for the Chair who will work in collaboration with IMD’s Global Family Business Center, directed by Denise H. Kenyon Rouvinez, Wild Group Professor of Family Business at IMD.

IMD will establish an advisory board consisting of Cédric Mauvernay, Alliance Manager of Business Development & Licensing, Debiopharm International; Etienne Eichenberger, Managing Partner, Wise and Anand Narasimhan, Shell Professor of Global Leadership at IMD with the mandate of reviewing the ongoing activities and objectives of the Chair as well as proposing research programs.