Alternatives 4 Children
Alternatives 4 Children (A4C) is an independent charitable foundation established in 2011 in the Netherlands with the aim to involve professionals from the (Alternative) Financial industry. Originally founded by professionals from the Dutch Alternatives Industry, we are now open to all countries and people from the financial industry. We are currently in the process of opening a London Chapter.
Goal & Vision
A4C will support sustainable projects and raise money for charities involved in improving the living standards of children. The foundation is a private initiative of a number of professionals from the investment industry.
Our mission is to improve and develop children’s wellbeing with a focus on developing countries and the Netherlands to providing long lasting alternatives to children in need with a focus on education.
• Raise funds from the financial industry with a focus on the alternative investment network; and
• Carefully select projects involved with children In order to
• Help children get access to (a better) education; and
• Ultimately help populations become self-sustainable.
Project selection criteria
Our goal is to provide children with the opportunities they deserve by promoting education, safety and promoting development needs. Keeping this goal in mind, we choose projects based on the following six criteria:
Provide alternatives for children.
Focus on projects, which significantly improve the chances of children living in difficult conditions in the following areas:
• Hygiene & clean water
• Housing and family support
Focus on projects that have the ability of becoming sustainable either financially or through durability.
Our support should lead to self-sufficiency and the projects should not be dependent on permanent funding. Our support should contribute to an entrepreneurial, self-reliant project. We require the projects we select to show personal involvement and commitment by setting objectives and realistic short plus long term goals. Therefore, we aim to support projects for a maximum of three years, although this may be extended depending on circumstances.
Personal involvement of parents, teachers and the local community ensures the strong and steady commitment to the projects. This willingness is important to ensure the durability of the project and therefore a prerequisite for our project selection.
We require our projects to be fully transparent on the allocation of our funding. The project’s manager needs to clarify objectives as well as short and long term goals. We expect them to communicate regularly through our monitoring reports and update us when any relevant event occurs.
We will select small scale projects to ensure maximum added value and impact of our investment. This way we can set realistic goals for the projects we select and have a clear overview on how our funding is allocated. The growth of our funding will lead to diversification among several small projects.
The corporate structure we implemented last year seems to work efficiently, however we do lack formal heads for all of the committee functions, however they are filled in on an ad-hoc basis. Going forward we may need to review the structure to take into account our London Chapter.
A4C Executive Directors (executive board)
Role/responsibilities of executive directors: "het bestuur". They act as a go-between the Independent Advisory Board and the rest of the organization. They are the legal signatories and have financial responsibilities of the accounts. They may also be members of the management board but also responsible for the overall management of the charity and direction and ensure that the managers are following the correct strategic direction. They can be removed by the independent advisory board by unanimity for misconduct, misrepresentation and breach of ethical behaviour.
Didy Michels van der Schilden
Didy Michels van der Schilden began her career as a hedge fund analyst in 2003 with Insinger de Beaufort. In 2006 she became responsible for institutional sales. In 2009 she was made a director, managing the financial product advisory team of Insinger de Beaufort. Didy left Insinger de Beaufort in 2010 to start a new Asset Management Company, Melles & Partners. She is Managing Partner and Director of Melles & Partners. Didy holds a B.Sc. from the HES in Amsterdam and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). Didy is married and has two children.
Marc de Kloe
Marc is responsible for the Global Alternatives and Funds team for ABN AMRO Private Banking. He has a background in law and asset management, with over 20 years of investment experience including business development, fund management, legal, due diligence, selection, structuring, investments and ultimately sales. Marc has an LLB in English and German Law, from the University of Kent, an LLM in European Business Law from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA from Vlerick Business School.
Marc is a Managing Director at Adamas Asset Management, an Asian based alternative asset manager. He was previously responsible for the Global Alternatives and Funds team for ABN AMRO Private Banking. He has a background in law and asset management, with over 20 years of investment experience including business development, fund management, legal, due diligence, selection, structuring, investments and ultimately sales. Marc has an LLB in English and German Law, from the University of Kent, an LLM in European Business Law from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA from Vlerick Business School. Marc is Dutch and has lived in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg before moving to The Netherlands in 2007. Marc is married and has one son.
Sophie is the founder of Phenix Capital, an impact investing advisory and consulting firm. She has been working in the asset management industry in different roles research, financial analysis and marketing and sales roles since 1997. She is a French citizen, mother of 2, and has lived in France, Germany and the UK, before moving to the Netherlands in 2004. She founded Phenix Capital B.V. in 2012. Sophie holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Kassel (Germany) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She grew up in France next to Auxerre and Chablis.
Independent Advisory Board
The board’s role is to advise on our activities. Its role is to provide strategic guidance in the running of the charity and provide valuable contacts and insight to the organisation. It is not involved in the day to day business of the organization. The Advisory Board (excluding Remco Bleijs) has the power to remove executive directors or directors in the case of gross misconduct. We have an independent advisory board, which aims to meet at least twice a year. The board is made up of the following people:
Chairman Alternative Investments Group EY The Netherlands and Chairman of the Financial Services Sustainability Services Group of EY The Netherlands.
Remco Bleijs is an assurance and advisory executive director in the Financial Services practice of EY in the Netherlands. He started his career at EY in 1988. He graduated as CPA in 1999. Since 2007 Remco leads the Alternative Investment Group in the Netherlands. In 2011 he became member of the management board of the Asset Management Group in the Netherlands. In the same year Remco became responsible for the Sustainability activities of the Financial Services practice. His clients includes some of the largest Asset Managers and other financial institutions in the Netherlands and several Alternative Investment managers and service providers in the Netherlands, BBC islands, Switzerland, London and New York.
Director – Koornzaayer Foundation.
Hilde Klok developed expertise in the field health care and education in developing countries and grant-making while working as a director at the Koornzaayer Foundation trust fund. Before that she worked for an international company providing integrated solutions for the care of people with reduced mobility and related conditions. Hilde is a board member of Ariadne a European network of philanthropist inhuman rights and social change. She recently has started her own company in advising other trust funds on their strategic planning.
Institutional Business Development, Amundi Nederland
Prior to joining Amundi, Niels worked for MN, the fiduciary manager for Dutch pension funds from 2002-2015. He held various positions in equity funds and hedge fund management of which his most recent position was Director Equities, Special Investments, and Hedge Funds, responsible for the selection of external funds and monitoring the internal asset management department. Previous to this, between 1996-2001, Niels worked with Fortis Bank as an asset manager dedicated to institutional investors, having started working in the financial sector as a bond trader at ABN Amro and IMC as an options trader. Niels holds a degree in Quantitative Business Economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and a Master of Financial Analysis from the University of Amsterdam.
Ruud Hendriks has been working in the fund management industry for over 30 years. In the course of his international career, Ruud has held senior roles at some of the most recognised names in the business. Currently Ruud Hendriks is: Senior advisor to Lombard Odier, Senior advisor to KKR, Nonexecutive Chairman of Man’s Institutional Department, President of Man Investments SGR S.p.A., Chairman of the advisory board at Financial Assets. Previously, Ruud worked for Goldman Sachs Asset Management which he joined in 2001 as managing director, becoming co-head of sales for Europe (excluding Germany and Austria), Middle East and Africa in 2006. Ruud retired from Goldman Sachs in 2009. Prior to joining GSAM, Ruud worked for Rodamco, the property fund of the Robeco Group, between 1980 and 1996. He was a member of the Rodamco Executive Board between 1991 to 1996. He then moved to become Senior Vice President, Global Head of Institutional Sales at Robeco.
Role/responsibilities of managers: They communicate, seek advice and inform other board members of progress, and challenges on each of their respective areas. They aim to meet at least every 2 months, communicate regularly with each other on day-to-day business/ attend and report to at least two-thirds of the monthly calls. This managing board puts in an intensive amount of time to manage their team of subcommittee members and volunteers. An executive assistant supports the managing board. Managers may be appointed and removed by the executive board.