VP Bank’s social engagement
As an international bank group with regional roots, we recognise our social and environmental responsibility in the places we do business, mainly Liechtenstein but also selectively in other regions where we are represented. Since 2014 VP Bank has focused its charitable donations, alternating by year, on recreational sporting associations and cultural institutions serving the general public. VP Bank Group employees who actively participate in a charitable institution also receive a supporting contribution. Numerous initiatives and projects have benefited from this commitment over many years.
Since 2012, VP Bank has also had a charitable giving agreement with the Swiss Climate Foundation. As a partner of this foundation, VP Bank provides financial support for the energy efficiency and climate protection projects of small and medium-sized companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Under this arrangement, VP Bank provides financing based on the net rebate of the CO2-incentive tax on fossil fuels.
Sports and cultural sponsorships are among the most effective opportunities to position brands in an emotional environment, achieve key goals and reach target groups. Since 2017, VP Bank has actively focused its sponsorships in these two areas with a long-term focus.
A new golf sponsorship agreement was entered into with the VP Bank Ladies Open, a women’s professional golf tournament at the Gams-Werdenberg course in Switzerland. In classical music, VP Bank is a Presenting Partner of the “Next Generation” festival in Switzerland, which serves as a springboard for young classical artists to develop their musical talent.
VP Bank Art Foundation
The VP Bank Art Foundation was established in 1996 and collects works of contemporary artists. Its purpose is to foster art appreciation in a targeted manner within and outside VP Bank as well as to promote visual arts by means of acquisitions and art-related publications. The purchased works are displayed in the rooms of VP Bank as well as at art exhibitions. They are also loaned to third parties for showings at other venues.
Hans Brunhart is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Other board members are Fredy Vogt, Chairman of the Board of VP Bank Group, and Dr Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the Hilti Art Foundation. Petra Büchel is curator of the Foundation.
In its acquisition programme, the VP Bank Art Foundation increasingly focuses on artists who have not yet gained full recognition in the art market. In 2017, three acquisitions were made thus complementing the collection and consolidating its focus on “painting”.
The acquisitions were made purposefully for VP Bank’s client area in Vaduz and thus help to feature art in the office space. In 2017, two newly created sitting rooms in Vaduz were adorned with works from the VP Bank Art Foundation. One painting from the Art Foundation’s portfolio was made available for two exhibits in Switzerland and France. The VP Bank Art Foundation receives an annual financial contribution from VP Bank.
VP Bank Foundation
VP Bank Foundation was initiated in 2006 and established in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of VP Bank. In keeping with its Articles of Association, the Foundation supports projects, individuals and institutions that have made outsized contributions on behalf of the environment, art, education, science or culture. Charitable activities on behalf of the general public are also supported. This patronage is intended to be connected with Liechtenstein and consistent with VP Bank’s corporate values. Donations can also be made for welfare and social purposes. In its first decade of operations, VP Bank Foundation has earned a well-regarded position among Liechtenstein foundations and helped to shape the philanthropic sector.
The Board of Trustees comprises Hans Brunhart and Fredy Vogt. During the year under review, VP Bank Foundation distributed around CHF 300,000 to worthy causes.
On the occasion of the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, the Board of Trustees published a brochure that offers a look at the Foundation’s activities. The brochure can be downloaded from the VP Bank website.
Promoting science and education has been a major part of VP Bank Foundation’s activities from the outset. With this objective, the Foundation supports scientific institutions and their projects.
VP Bank Foundation will support the recently established “Stiftung Zukunft.li” foundation through annual contributions in the years ahead, as scientifically-based and non-partisan analysis of important issues affecting the future is essential for Liechtenstein and will help the country overcome future challenges.
The “UFL Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein” will also receive multi-year support from the Foundation in recognition of its services to Liechtenstein as an educational centre.
In addition to promoting university activities, VP Bank Foundation sponsors the journalistic activity of the Liechtenstein Academic Society. Its scientific papers on Liechtenstein-related issues are often connected to events and research projects of the Liechtenstein Institute and constitute a valuable source of knowledge for politics and the society.
For many years, VP Bank Foundation has supported the Gutenberg Education and Seminar Institute in the conviction that permanent education and lifelong learning are necessary not only for professional purposes but also contribute to mastering life’s challenges in the private sphere.
In the cultural promotion area, in 2017 the Foundation contributed to a catalogue accompanying an exhibit at the Postal Museum of the Principality of Liechtenstein and to other cultural projects such as “Liechtenstein Literature Days” and a theatre initiative.
In the environmental area, the Foundation supported the “Stiftung pro natura – pro ski” foundation as part of a long-term commitment. This foundation works closely with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. It developed an environmental audit for ski areas, thereby making an internationally recognised contribution to ecologically sustainable development of the Alpine region through a balancing of interests. The “Stiftung pro natura – pro ski” foundation was dissolved last year and VP Bank Foundation assumed any resulting obligations over the life of its commitment.
In the coming years, VP Bank Foundation will support the Drink & Donate association’s “Waterfootprint Liechtenstein” initiative with what amounts to start-up financing. The idea behind this initiative is for consumers to forgo mineral water transported by road and eliminate the resulting environmental impact. The association provides donations to projects supporting access to clean drinking water for needy people in developing countries. Promoting the consumption of tap water over bottled water helps to preserve the environment and save energy.
In connection with the “Lichtblick” campaign, VP Bank Foundation made grants to more than 30 social institutions in Liechtenstein in 2017, disbursing a total of approximately CHF 70,000 to social institutions, organisations and associations in Liechtenstein.
VP Bank Foundation is committed to supporting not only projects of larger institutions but also to promote young male and female initiators of innovative projects. With this objective in mind, last year the foundation supported personal commitments in the literary, human rights and vocational training areas.
Last year VP Bank Foundation converted its management mandate with the bank into a sustainability mandate, a structured investment process and sustainable portfolio management. The foundation’s effectiveness can be improved by focusing more closely on sustainability criteria when investing the foundation’s resources. The Board of Trustees therefore shifted the investment policy in this direction, and now both the foundation’s contributions and its investments have an impact consistent with the foundation’s Articles of Association.
Last year, a portion of the Foundation’s resources was again invested in the EMF Microfinance Fund AGmvK as well as in VP Bank Balanced (CHF) Strategy Fund class C units. Via returns from the latter exposure, the relief organisation “SolidarMed” received financial aid. As a result of this organisation’s recognised accomplishments, the purpose-related funding agreement was renewed.
VP Bank Foundation is a member of the Liechtenstein Association of Non-profit Foundations (Vereinigung liechtensteinischer gemeinnütziger Stiftungen e.V. – VLGS) and the “SwissFoundations” association. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees actively participates in the management and development of the Liechtenstein association and makes use of valuable sharing of experiences in both associations.