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Nina Hoas of LGT (right) in Kenya, tree planting

Global annual philanthropy giving today is estimated at over $1tr. The world will see the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history by 2045, some $84tr being passed down in US alone. Next gen inheritors are finding purpose in their wealth, responding to urgent causes, and driving change ‘in my lifetime’. LUX Leaders & Philanthropists Editor Samantha Welsh speaks with Head of LGT Philanthropy Advisory, Nina Hoas, on strategies for enhancing impact through collaboration, leadership, innovation and doing good, well.

LUX: What made you decide on a career centred on addressing inequalities and social justice?

NINA HOAS: I am Swedish, born in Sweden but when I was growing-up my family moved around a lot, to Latin America and Asia, living in places like Bangkok and Thailand for seven years. So I grew-up in a family that was not afraid of being out in different communities or sharing their experiences and being with different cultures. Every year from when I was one year old we would go to Kenya to stay with my godparents who lived in Nairobi and had a family house outside Mombasa. We were put in the local school for a few weeks where where my aunt was a Swedish teacher, and in the weekends we would visit the safari and conservation areas. That Kenya experience was really ingrained in me, I was so aware of the environment, nature, biodiversity, and most of all aware of the contrasts.


Preserving and replanting mangroves, which store carbon, preserve coastlines and act as biodiversity incubators, is important to many next generation philanthropists

LUX: What did that perspective teach you about privilege and shape your ambition?

NH: That family beach house on the coast outside of Mombasa was a different world to Sweden, with our housekeepers Kasongo and Yomo living a long bike ride away, in a mud hut, in a tiny village with no running water or electricity. Every year our family would visit and see their kids growing up. Back in the day we only thought in terms of charitable giving, not the empowerment approach we promote today. Donating clothes and food to their extended family was my first real experience of doing good. Schooling and education was not taken for granted either and all that shaped me. My godparents lived in Nairobi and were part of the whole UN community there, so I knew quite a bit about the UN and decided that is what I wanted to do. So I studied political science, then my first scholarship was with Sida, Sweden’s development agency. After graduating, I interned in Kenya with an NGO, then worked with UNICEF with refugees in West Africa then set on the path to UN.

LUX: What for you is ‘doing good, well’?

NS: At strategic advisory at LGT, we are about promoting more and better philanthropy, and we want to connect and to do that in a better more strategic way. It is not only about your philanthropy journey but about the long term impact your wealth can have.

LUX: What is the approach to wealth in strategic philanthropy?

NH: The advisers in our office, together with family advisors, have conversations with clients much more around the wealth as the starting point, how the wealth was created, how it has been invested, who you are you as a consumer, your conscious consuming patterns, and what is worth spending on. Every time there is a financial transaction there has to be positive impact so it is about the governing of that wealth and how the values and wealth are passed on.


Rainforests are a carbon sink and produce life-giving oxygen; they are also essential for the maintenance of the earth’s biodiversity, which is inextricably linked to the planet’s habitability and sustainability as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

LUX: How does that play out in the context of the huge upcoming intergenerational wealth transfer?

NH: It becomes a question of how do you restructure an approach to philanthropy to cater for generations to come. You can find that suddenly that those issues a foundation was about for generations no long appeal to next gen’s different priorities, or there are taboo issues they want to focus on. We see a lot more conscious investment decisions and policies by foundations and trusts. One client we interviewed is the instigator of the family office who started investing more sustainably, not only for her families but other families. She had to teach them and it is coming from the next gen, which will receive this huge wealth transfer. There are more conversations about that privilege and they are dynamic with individuals listening to the communities. They do not want to propose the solutions rather first ask where the root issues lie. Last year we led two learning trips to Kenya, to Maasai Mara, going out to learn from the communities. One was with next gen inheritors and it was so oversubscribed we had to close the list.

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LUX: Has your network been affected by women social investment entrepreneurs’ (SIE) phenomenal growth globally, also why are they so successful in scaling?

NH: We usually talk about seven trends and right now next gen funders and specifically women funders is a significant one of those. We are looking at our philanthropy network and we have a lot of women philanthropists we are working with and we noticed that for them it is not only about the giving. Women drive a lot of the development and community work. It is proven that if you empower a woman then you are empowering the whole family and the community. You have a bigger bang for your buck because they are the ones making the impact. As a woman I see it is economically efficient to focus on the women in communities.

LUX: How far is tech influencing next gen investing strategies?

NH: Tech can scale obviously, and our Guide to Strategic Philanthropy we co-wrote with Pi covers this in one chapter, for example, through interventions, or by markets or governments taking projects, or through collaboration and partnership. The foundations start asking for tech and they want it because they understand they can grow and deliver faster services. On the approaches towards social good, the giving is one part, but it does not matter what the methodologies are that you are using, whether through impact bonds, mezzanine funding or partly impact investing or pure giving, whichever, you have a social goal and there are many approaches. We notice some entrepreneurs are very successful in using tech and are very often the ones that also want to adopt or adapt their skills and their experience to do good and they’re using that space.

LUX: Has ‘giving while living’ and philanthropy within a limited time frame created volatility and been disruptive?

NH: With next gen in particular, they may have created a structure but want to show they are putting a time frame on it to clarify to donors, to family members and peers that if, for example, it is an endowment then they would spend down within 20 to 30 years. They are still relatively young, mid career, embarked on their philanthropic journey, and they want to act right now on the urgent issues, well before those issues worsen. They also feel strongly and passionately that they want to enjoy doing it in their lifetime and not leave the responsibility to another after their death.

Read more: Terre Blanche: The luxury resort pioneering sustainability


Recent research shows that forests are not just collections of distinct flora and fauna; they vast interlinked collective ecosystems which communicate with each other, and underpin sustainable development

LUX: What does inherited wealth mean to next gen U/HNWIs?

NH: LGT’s study is about wealth and about what wealth can do. We are asking only next gen wealth holders, the inheritors not the wealth creators. Wealth needs to come with purpose. It is very hard for some of them inheriting and by being rich they do not want to feel poor. They want to separate themselves from their net worth and to have self worth. They want to use their wealth in a catalytic way to do good. They bring purpose to their own life if they can use their wealth through investment for a purpose to empower others. For example, one of our women philanthropists is working in communities in a few developing countries to empower women. In one community, she is reaching around 10,000 women and while they know the funds are coming from a specific foundation, they do not know that the founder is out there in person in the field alongside them as technical support; she remains anonymous to avoid the donor dynamic as she wants to be out there, able to hear if something is not right. She is caring for there to be a good systemic change on the ground and is concerned she will not get truthful feedback because the community will fear the funds will dry up if the project is not going right. She actually wants to know what is going wrong so we can change it. We see it more and more with people who really want to make a change.

LUX: How does peer-to-peer collaboration help your clients?

NH: This is where strategic advisory comes in and the connection to other philanthropic leaders. They want to meet others who are focused on similar issues because they want to maximise impact and to collaborate to achieve that. Also philanthropists can feel very isolated so our purpose is to connect philanthropists, introduce them to others working in the same area, to learn and potentially to partner and to add value. This works well in the area of biodiversity and nature. We advise 50 individuals that are focusing specifically on scaling conservation and nature based solutions. We took a group to the Massai Mara, which is one of the key initiatives of the Lichtenstein princely family. We do a lot with the princely family, LGT is their family business around for over 100 years, serving individuals, with the princely family being the biggest client in their own family business of around Eur 300 billion managed by LGT. They sustainably invest for the long term and they are very happy to collaborate with others in their philanthropy and impact investments.