PE pros give £18k a year to charity – Exclusive

Research from Investec shows more than 80% of private equity professionals have supported a philanthropic cause in the last 12 months.

More than 80 percent of private equity professionals have supported a philanthropic cause in the last 12 months, new research from Investec Private Bank shows.

Data gathered from a survey, which garnered more than 50 responses from members of the private equity community in Q3 of this year, found that industry insiders are supporting philanthropic causes with both time and money; the average time donated was more than four hours, while the average financial donation was around £18,000 (€20,860; $23,400) per person.

Almost all respondents said they would invest the same amount or more in the next 12 months.

The study found the most popular sector to support was education, with three quarters of those surveyed saying they had supported a cause in this area. This was followed by initiatives within youth and family services, poverty causes, and community development.

Most cited a personal connection as the reason why they had chosen a particular cause, with just one respondent citing a corporate connection.

“This research demonstrates that a great many industry executives are highly committed to supporting worthy causes and positively impacting the society around them,” said Deborah Sayagh, a private banker at Investec.

“The findings echo Terra Firma’s Justin King’s message at the Investec Norwood private equity dinner in June, where he said he felt the private equity sector plays a fundamental role in our communities. Being a responsible corporate citizen is a good thing to do, and it’s also good for business.”

The dinner, at which King was guest speaker, raised more than £150,000 (€174,000; $195,000) from the private equity community for Jewish charity Norwood, which supports vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities.

The Investec report suggests there is more the private equity industry could do on an institutional level to encourage support of philanthropic causes. Almost a third of respondents said a company charitable programme would encourage them to give more financial support to a cause.

A recent report published by Cass Business School found that 80 percent of workers in Greater London give money either regularly or on an ad-hoc basis to charity and community groups. Thirty-five percent of employees in the financial services sector reported workplace schemes or initiatives as a key influence on giving, compared to an average of 19 percent across other sectors.