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Family Philanthropy Case Included in Harvard Business School Case Database

Time: 2021-06-25 09:30 Print

Recently, “André Hoffmann: Beyond Philanthropy”, a case of family philanthropy of Roche, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, has been included in the Harvard Business School Case database. This case is co-authored by Gao Hao, Director of Global Family Business Research Center at Tsinghua PBCSF, Lauren H. Cohen, renowned professor at Harvard Business School and Chief-Editor of Review of Financial Studies, Ye Jiawei, Leader of Family Business Community at World Economic Forum, and Spencer C. N. Hagist, research associate at Harvard Business School.


Website of Harvard Business School Case Collection

Modern philanthropy has vigorously rolled out across the world over the past century. Internationally renowned entrepreneurs and their families (e.g. Rockefeller, Carnegie and Bill Gates) embarked on their family philanthropic undertakings, leading to a far-reaching impact. China's industrialists are also contributing to modern philanthropy by funding schools and hospitals, and aiding the elderly and the disabled. In the new century, remarkable and rapid development has been achieved in philanthropic undertakings. According to the Global Philanthropy Report released by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, individuals and families are the key contributors to philanthropy, and the total amount of global philanthropic capital is expected to rise from USD 1.5 trillion in 2018 to USD 5 trillion in 2030.

With the growing awareness of the major public and environmental challenges in the world today, ultra-high net worth individuals and business families are giving back to society in the form of philanthropy, and are committed to achieving the social value of their wealth. From a family perspective, philanthropy is an important means of passing down family values and culture, from generation to generation. From the social perspective, philanthropy is of great significance in achieving the common goal of human development.


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What this case focuses on are the philanthropic practices and innovations made by André Hoffmann, Vice Chairman of Roche, the fourth-generation leader of his family and a world-renowned philanthropist. Founded in 1896, Roche ranked No. 171 on the Fortune 500 ranking in 2020 with revenues of USD 63.4 billion. It is a pharmaceutical company investing the most in research and development in the world. The Hoffmann-Oeri family has long been among the richest families in Switzerland, ranking 24th on Bloomberg's world's richest families list in 2019.

By demonstrating the unique philanthropic philosophy and practices of André Hoffmann, the case guides students to think about the current difficulties and challenges in global philanthropic undertakings, how to systematically plan family philanthropy, how to integrate family philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, and the internal logic between philanthropy and family inheritance. During the case study, students will further reflect on the limitations of existing management philosophies and philanthropic undertakings, and how to solve the major challenges facing humanity through a systematic solution that integrates various key elements like business, family and philanthropy. This case is applicable to the fields including economics and finance, business administration, public administration, and available for Master, MBA, MPA, EMBA, DBA, and executive education programs.

Focusing on family business, wealth management, family office and philanthropy, Tsinghua PBCSF Global Family Business Research Center has published more than 150 papers and cases in academic and financial journals at home and abroad, 16 academic monographs and translations, and co-authored several Harvard cases. It has provided high-quality think tank research for national ministries and industry organizations. It closely cooperates with the World Economic Forum, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, HK Financial Services Development Council, Private Wealth Management Association, UBS Group, and other renowned agencies. It is seeking to provide intellectual support for sustainable national economic development and globally important issues and is committed to becoming a renowned think tank with international influence in the field of family business and wealth management.

Harvard Business School was the first business school in the world to create a case-based teaching model and has the most authoritative Harvard Business School case library in global business studies research and teaching area. That the research result of a Tsinghua PBCSF teacher shows the Tsinghua PBCSF’s contribution to the building of China's financial case database and promoting global academic exchanges and research cooperation.