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Temasek Trust launches philanthropy advisory services arm; former UBS executive director to lead

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 3 min read
Temasek Trust launches philanthropy advisory services arm; former UBS executive director to lead
Dickson Lim, former executive director and head of philanthropy and community impact, Singapore at UBS, joined Temasek Trust in March to establish TTFA. Photo: Temasek Trust
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Temasek Trust has launched its philanthropy advisory services arm, TT Foundation Advisors (TTFA). Led by former UBS executive director Dickson Lim, TTFA will provide philanthropy advisory and management services to philanthropic foundations, family offices, business corporations, philanthropists and charities across Asia.

TTFA will harness Temasek Trust’s networks, capabilities and its ongoing initiatives with like-minded partners to build a “vibrant and impactful philanthropic ecosystem in Asia”, reads an April 28 statement. 

For example, TTFA clients can benefit from impact measurement, management training and insights from Temasek Trust ecosystem entities, such as the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP) and the Asia Centre for Changemakers (ACC). 

They can embark on collaborative philanthropic projects and initiatives via the Philanthropy Asia Alliance (PAA), an action-oriented global alliance with more than 80 members and partners.

TTFA clients can also access curated global impact opportunities on Co-Axis, a marketplace for founders and funders of projects with social and environmental impact.

There is a “significant opportunity” to drive meaningful impact in Asia, with a fast-growing need for trusted philanthropy advisory and management services, says Lim, who joined Temasek Trust in March.

See also: Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation launch new digital impact marketplace

Lim was formerly executive director and head of philanthropy and community impact, Singapore at UBS. Prior to that, he worked at BNP Paribas Singapore as head of individual philanthropy services for Southeast Asia. He has served in various roles across the non-profit sector for 20 years.

“My team and I at TTFA will leverage Temasek Trust’s insights, capabilities and resources, as well as the expertise and evidence-based interventions across the wider philanthropic ecosystem, and partner with our clients to deliver strategic and impactful solutions that resonate with their passions, values and the communities they care deeply about,” says Lim.

Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Lim spent 10 years in engineering, developing strategic investments and exclusive distributorships of semiconductor manufacturing equipment across Asia.

See also: Navigating Singapore's renewable energy landscape: Insights from Apac

Asia’s demand for philanthropy

According to Temasek Trust, Asia’s philanthropic landscape is fast-evolving and growing in significance. “More than a third of global wealth is projected to be in the hands of Asian millennials by 2030. Three in five family offices surveyed in the region regard philanthropy as a higher priority for their principals now [compared to] just a few years ago.”

Temasek Trust notes a shift from “cheque book” to “catalytic philanthropy”, with a greater emphasis on impact measurement and management, and more “outcomes-driven, evidence-based giving”. 

According to Temasek Trust, Singapore is fast becoming a regional philanthropic hub, with more than 1,400 single family offices (SFOs) and 50% of Southeast Asia’s top family businesses based here. 

SFOs aiming to qualify for overseas donation tax incentives under the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Philanthropy Tax Incentive Scheme (PTIS), which encourages philanthropic activities abroad through Singapore, may appoint independent, trusted Donor Advised Funds (DAF) as their local intermediaries. 

“These developments have heightened demand for outsourced independent philanthropy advisory services and DAFs to facilitate local and regional giving,” says Temasek Trust, and TTFA has been set up to meet this increased demand.

The launch of TTFA is aligned with Temasek Trust’s aim of building a vibrant and impactful philanthropic ecosystem in Asia, says Desmond Kuek, CEO of Temasek Trust, “by supporting the increasing interest of individuals and family offices in legacy, impact and giving to build a positive, sustainable future for every generation”.

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