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Fobes Asia Recognizes Leading Altruists in 15th Annual Heroes of Philanthropy List
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian, has pledged to donate over A$500 million (US$357 million) by 2030 to nonprofits fighting climate change.
SINGAPORE (Dec. 14, 2021) — Forbes Asia today unveiled its annual Heroes of Philanthropy list, highlighting 15 altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who are committed to causes ranging from pandemic relief to climate change and education. The full list can be found
at www.forbes.com
/altruists and in the December issue of Forbes Asia.

The list, which is unranked, focuses on philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region who are donating significant amounts from their personal fortunes, as well as giving their time and personal
attention to their selected causes. The majority of listees are new entrants, but the list also includes some previous honorees who achieved a major new altruistic milestone that justified a relisting.

Among the listees is tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian, who has pledged to donate over A$500 million (US$357 million) by 2030
to nonprofits fighting climate change. At the same time, he is doubling down on renewable energy and green technologies. He is also one of the biggest backers of Australia-based Sun Cable, which is constructing the world’s biggest solar farm and energy storage facility in the Australian desert.

Higher education was a main focus for some listees this year. Siblings Ronnie and Gerald Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Group and cofounder of Morningside Group, respectively, donated $175 million to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, marking the largest gift ever to the UMass system. The gift more than doubled the medical school’s endowment. Long-time supporters of education, the Chan family in the past has made major donations to Harvard University and the University of Southern California.

Wipro founder and chairman Azim Premji donated an estimated $1.3 billion of his family's wealth to social causes through his eponymous foundation in 2021. Established in 2001, the Azim
Premji Foundation focuses on giving equal access to quality education. In 2020, the foundation and Wipro allocated about 11 billion rupees ($148 million) to fighting Covid-19. This year, they increased their commitment by an additional 10 billion rupees, with an assurance to provide more if required.

Premji continues to be one of the most generous philanthropists worldwide with over $20 billion donated so far.

Michael Kim, founder of MBK Partners, one of Asia’s largest private equity firms (by AUM), has pledged to donate 30 billion won ($25.5 million) to the Seoul government for a new public library.

This is the latest in a string of donations made by Kim to support education causes. In addition, through his MBK Scholarship Foundation, more than 150 MBK scholars to date have received scholarships to attend the country’s universities.

Through the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, the husband-and-wife team comprising Alibaba cofounder Joseph Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, pledged $220 million in July toward the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, a first-of-its-kind collaboration that studies the biology of peak human performance. Outside of sports, the foundation pledged $50 million in August last year to create a social justice fund, aimed at fighting systemic racism and promoting economic mobility in New York City’s Brooklyn borough.

Also featured on the list is Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments Corp., who spearheads SM Group’s philanthropy as vice chairman of the SM Foundation established by her parents. Through the foundation, the Group has so far donated over 1.5 billion pesos ($30 million) in vaccines, hospital equipment and protective gear for healthcare workers.

Vietnam’s richest man Pham Nhat Vuong has continued to contribute significantly to alleviate Covid-19’s impact in local communities. Starting last year, Vuong, founder and chairman of Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup, has given over $320 million to Vietnam’s pandemic relief. His Kind Heart Foundation has 30 programs to help the needy that range from scholarships to disaster relief.

For the complete Heroes of Philanthropy list, please visit http://www.forbes.com/altruists



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