Investment policy focused on returns and responsibility
Our financial strategy is intended to secure the best obtainable returns as compared with the established risk profile. The investments made by the Bikuben Foundation are long-term, involving liquidity and volatility risks as vehicles to obtain better returns and the best possible means for philanthropic work. We are able to do so as our grant strategy does not comprise any requirement to sudden and unexpected pay-out, but rather a more consistent distribution over time. We seek to minimise investment risks by diversifying our investments, in terms of geography as in terms of business sectors. The majority of our investments are made within the areas of Scandinavia, Northern Europe and USA. Certain investments we make ourselves, whereas others are made in cooperation with banks, stockbrokers and via mandates to major trust corporations.
We exercise due diligence in our selection of collaborative partners, and it is important to the foundation that the investments made by our trustees are rooted in the UN principle-based framework on responsible investment, the UN Global Compact principles, and in international conventions acceded to by Denmark. Thus, our investments, for instance, consider human rights, employment rights, the environment and anti-corruption measures; and, similarly, our investments will not contribute to any activities that involve unconventional weapons.
2019 – DKK 232.4m
2018 – DKK 89.5m
2017 – DKK 171.1m
2016 – DKK 162.2m
2015 – DKK 137.6m
Our grants depend on the earnings we accumulate. It is our ambition to distribute our earnings in their entirety – less costs and anti-inflationary measures. We moreover strive to establish a relatively stable level that will make allowances for such fluctuations as will naturally occur from one year to the next.
In 2019, grant distributions totalled DKK 119.2m distributed as DKK 58m to young people on the edge, DKK 55m to current performing arts and visual arts and DKK 6m to other purposes. In addition, there was a carry-back of grants distributed in previous years in the amount of DKK 2.0m; and, thus the net result of grants paid equalled DKK 117m.
Over the most recent years, the development of our grants was as follows:
2019: DKK 119m
2018: DKK 76m
2017: DKK 113.8m
2016: DKK 92m
2015: DKK 77m
Assets and companies
The Bikuben Foundation has full ownership of the industrial enterprise, Enkotec A/S, headquartered in Skanderborg. The company, a world-leader within its field, develops and manufactures high-quality machinery for the production of precision nails for the global construction industry. Enkotec A/S contributes to the generation of the financial profits that will be diverted to our philanthropic work.
In 2017, the Bikuben Foundation founded BIFI A/S which is 100 % owned by the foundation. This company is in charge all the Bikuben Foundation's investments in Private Equity houses outside Denmark.
Svanninge Bjerge is a 600-ha large natural resort located in South Funen that is owned and operated by the Bikuben Foundation. Since 2005, this area has constituted the framework for a diversity of events organised by the Bikuben Foundation; and, in recent years, we have been increasingly focused on nature and the potential of the experience of nature in connection with socially vulnerable people. This resulted in Nature, the road to a good life – an initiative targeted at young people on the edge. The subsidiary, Høbbet A/S, has been under the Bikuben Foundation's ownership since 2013. This agricultural industry, affiliated with Svanninge Bjerge, also operates a research centre.
At the beginning of 2013, the Bikuben Foundation acquired Fondenes Hus, located at Otto Mønsteds Gade 5 in Copenhagen, for purposes of promoting knowledge sharing, competence development and collaboration across foundations, the exploitation of the advantages of shared operation, and the creation of increased transparency relative to the surrounding world. The property at Otto Mønsteds Gade is the domicile of the Bikuben Foundation and a number of other foundations.
For several years, the Bikuben Foundation has granted funds to Kollegiefonden Bikuben. The latter foundation used these grants for the building and management of three student halls of residence in Denmark – viz. in Odense, Aalborg and Copenhagen. Though the primary objective of the Bikuben Foundation's halls of residence is to provide students with a good base during their student years, they also constitute elements in our social work.