Daily Fintech Conversations

Francis Menassa (JAR Capital), Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) - CEOs in the Business of Helping People

In today’s day and age, it may seem like there is bad news all around us. The Guardian reports that in 2017, England and Wales saw a 10% increase in police-recorded crime, which was the largest annual increase in the past decade. At the same time, a 2018 report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 22% of people in the UK are mired n poverty, with child poverty increasing at an alarmingly fast rate.

With poverty and violence on the rise, it may seem like the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Many have started to turn to CEOs of major businesses and other wealthy business owners and wonder why they have not done more to help.

In reality, many CEOs are trying to use their wealth and power to have a positive impact on the world. The concept of “giving back” is not a new one, but one that many high ranking executives take seriously and have incorporated into their company’s culture.

Dave Thomas, the late founder of the American fast-food chain Wendy’s, used his business as a platform to raise funds to help children in foster care become adopted. Wendy’s still supports this cause today through their donations to the Dave Thomas Foundation.

Hiptipico’s founder, Alyssa, created a Guatemala-based fashion company to provide a way for impoverished Guatemalan women to support their families and preserve their indigenous culture.

Companies have prioritized charitable giving while donating their time to have a serious impact on the lives of others. This is a growing trend in business today, and it is becoming more and more popular.

Billionaires like Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) have adopted the ‘Giving Pledge’, pledging at least half of their wealth to charities and helping others. Recently, Sara Blakely, the Founder, and CEO of Spanx became the first female billionaire to join the dozens of billionaires who have followed the lead of Buffet and Gates, pledging half her wealth to charities that help to empower women.

Closer to home, Francis Menassa, the CEO of JAR Capital, a London -based wealth and asset management firm, helps his clients take care of their money and investments while also making time to give back.

Menassa’s big heart has extended to help many charities. DEBRA, of which he has been a patron for much of the last decade, is an organization in the UK that works to help people who suffer from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). EB is a terrible, painful and occasionally lethal condition that causes the skin to blister. Children who have EB are often called “butterfly children” because their skin is fragile, like a butterfly’s wing.

Recently, Francis Menassa also sponsored a team of four men - raising money for Over the Wall and St. Luke’s Cancer Centre - who competed in “The World’s Toughest Row”, a small team charity row boat race that spans over 3,000-miles from La Gomera to Antigua.

“Helping those who are less fortunate is just a simple way of giving back to the community that has supported us for so long. Our donations often help relieve families from the financial burden of medical treatment for their children, allowing them to focus on their recovery, rather than how they’ll pay the hospital,” said Francis Menassa in a recent interview.

Doing good is contagious. Many people rely on charities for a hand up, rather than a handout. That’s why it’s so important for high-profile individuals in the business world to contribute to charitable and social causes. They can inspire people around the world to step up and take action to provide help and hope.