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Bank of the West Releases Individual Philanthropy Index by Forbes Insights in the United States

Far Reaching Study Measures the Commitment and Interests of Philanthropists in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West Wealth Management, in partnership with parent company BNP Paribas, recently published the second edition of its Individual Philanthropy Index, which measures and reflects the commitment of philanthropists in four regions – Europe, Asia, the Middle East and for the first time, the United States. Scores are based on three main criteria: the amounts donated, innovation, and the effort invested by the philanthropists to promote their chosen causes.

Bank of the West logo.

The Index is derived from a survey of more than 400 high net worth individuals across the four regions, each with investable assets valued at $5 million or more. The survey was conducted by Forbes Insights between October and December 2013.

The Index is accompanied by a report from Forbes Insights featuring personal stories of some of the world's best-known philanthropic givers. The following are the report's main findings in the areas of top causes, motivation and timing; the full report and methodology can be found at – http://www.bnpparibas.com/en/news/press-release/bnp-paribas-launches-bnp-paribas-individual-philanthropy-index-forbes-insights-me.

Top Causes

  • In the United States, "health" and "hunger/food" were tied for top cause in the world, each cited by 33% of respondents. "Social change/diversity" closely followed, cited by more than one in four (28%) of U.S. respondents.
  • On the other hand, respondents from Europe, Asia and the Middle East most frequently cited the environment as the world's top cause.


The Index also shows that the motivations of the philanthropists surveyed vary among the four regions and are largely rooted in local history and culture; for example:

  • 22% of respondents in the United States and 29% of respondents in the Middle East said that "personal ties and experience linked to the chosen cause" most frequently motivate their philanthropy. In the U.S., "religious faith" and "sense of duty" ranked second and third, cited by 16% and 14% of respondents respectively
  • In Asia, the "desire to give something back to society" ranked highest at 19%
  • In Europe, an "altruistic desire to help others" ranked as the top motivator and was mentioned by 22% of respondents


How urgent is the need for philanthropic giving?

  • 79% of those polled describe the worldwide need for philanthropic giving as 'urgent' or 'extremely urgent'

How does respondents' wealth affect their giving?

  • More than 50% of respondents in the U.S. and Asia and 72% of those surveyed in the Middle East would be encouraged to increase their giving based on their view of the current state of their wealth
  • In Europe, the picture is less clear-cut, with 40% stating that the current state of their wealth encourages them to increase their giving, while an equal number indicate that their perception would drive them to give less

How long are respondents willing to wait to see results?  

  • Donors in the United States, Asia, and Europe expect to see faster results than their Middle East counterparts – in general, in less than 10 years.
  • In the Middle East, more than half of all philanthropic donors are prepared to wait more than 25 years to see the impact of their philanthropic activities

"Philanthropic giving is an important consideration for many of our Wealth Management clients," said John Bahnken, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group. "From our private client advisors through our trust team, this kind of research helps clients feel more informed when they are assessing options for their long-term giving strategy that is closely aligned with their interests and overall legacy," he said.

An infographic on the study's findings in global giving can be found here – http://gowe.st/1meogc5

Bank of the West Wealth Management provides wealth planning consulting, investment management*, personal banking, and trust services. The group is part of BNP Paribas' global wealth management business of more than 6,300 professionals in 30 countries worldwide with over $10 billion** in assets under management in the United States and $397 billion (€288 billion) in assets under management globally as of December 31, 2013.

About Bank of the West:

Founded in 1874, $65 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe.

*Securities and variable annuities are offered through BancWest Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker/dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial Advisors are registered representatives of BancWest Investment Services, Inc. Fixed annuities/insurance products are offered through BancWest Insurance Agency in California (License # 0C52321) and through BancWest Insurance Agency in Utah, and through BancWest Investment Services in AZ, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY, HI, GUAM and CNMI. Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries are not tax or legal advisors.

Bank of the West Wealth Management provides financial products and services through Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. 

BancWest Investment Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of the West and a part of the Wealth Management Group. BancWest Corporation is the holding company for Bank of the West. BancWest Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas.

Investment and Insurance Products are:


** Including assets under supervision at BancWest Investment Services

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SOURCE Bank of the West

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