Who we are
WISE is the expert in high impact philanthropy. We enable you to transform your unique ambitions into lasting results, where it really matters. From setting up foundations and advising on causes, to delivering projects in the field, everything we do is structured to ensure the best possible impact from your philanthropy.
What makes the difference is our hands-on expertise at every stage of each project. We build a dedicated team and individual strategy around your distinctive requirements.
Our sophisticated processes and on-the ground knowledge ensure your philanthropy is being used effectively.
Whether your aim is to ensure your long-term legacy, to secure the participation of family, or to witness maximum impact from your involvement, it’s on the ground where the difference is really made.
WISE philanthropy advisors – What really matters is the difference you make
Founded in 2004, WISE has a great wealth of experience delivering successful philanthropic projects, in the most challenging of environments. Our proven processes, personalized measurable services and detailed on-the-ground knowledge, are tailored to give you the best possible experience and ensure your philanthropy consistently realizes its full potential.
Shaping your involvementSupporting you and your family
Managing your grantsWorking with projects
ImpactReaching a maximum impact
Wise at a glance
Active in philanthropy since 1994, we founded WISE in 2004. Our team of motivated professionals has a hands-on experience in the implementation of philanthropic projects on all continents.
Our diversified client base and the fact that the company is fully owned by its two partners mean we have complete freedom when choosing projects and making decisions.
A key part of our success is our integrity, which has earned us our clients’trust. We work closely with you, advising you in a transparent, personalized way to define a strategy that is both realistic and true to your vision.
We are known for the quality and rigor of our processes and our interpersonal skills. Our mission is to help you determine where your philanthropy will have the greatest impact – for the final beneficiaries, for partner organizations, and for you and your family.
Whether you are just starting out or have years of experience, we can help you develop a strategy that optimizes both the impact of your grants and the rewards for you.
Cofounder and WISE’s managing partner, Etienne is an expert in high impact philanthropy as he has been working directly with families and foundations across Europe and some emerging countries, elaborating their strategy and realizing their projects. Before creating WISE, he collaborated with the Foundation Avina for the social entrepreneurship, supported the development of the Schwab Foundation and worked for the Swiss Development Cooperation. He also is the cofounder of Sustainable Finance Geneva. Today, he serve as the chairman of the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, as an expert in Philanthropy for the Family Firm Institute and as a member of the advisory board of the Debiopharm Chair on Family Philanthropy in the IMD.
WISE’s co-founder and partner, Maurice is an expert in high impact philanthropy and ensures the quality and best possible impact of all projects funded by philanthropists advised and supported by WISE, globally. His on-the-ground knowledge guarantees grants are being used effectively and make the difference. Prior to WISE, he has founded and managed charities in central America and collaborated with numerous projects on all continents, as well as served as trustee on the board of the World Scout Movement and Doctor of the World (Switzerland). Currently he serves on the board of Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and Cansearch Foundation, two foundations he co-founded.
Martial is a Director Strategy and Impact, which he joined in 2008. He advises individuals and foundations in the areas of projects identification, strategic planning, grants management and impact evaluation. Martial draws on a broad and multifaceted experience in the social development field, and has visited or contributed to over 150 projects in close to 20 countries in South East Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Previously, Martial managed projects in the field, including projects for local economic development and human rights in South East Europe and in the Caucasus. He lectures on project management and impact assessment to several Swiss non-profit organizations.
WISE’s program manager, Mael manages a portfolio of social organizations supported by WISE clients. He is in charge of identifying innovative and promising organizations, build high impact projects and ensure an effective monitoring to report to clients. Prior to WISE, Mael has gained more than 10 years of experience in social development, managing development and emergency projects related to child relief notably in Latin America and the Caribbean’s and South East Asia with Terre des hommes and MSF.
Sabrina advises families and foundations on their philanthropic endeavor at WISE since 2014. She is responsible for research as well as for initiatives promoting the development of philanthropy, as the NewGen Council. Prior to WISE, Sabrina managed multi partnership programs related to innovation and entrepreneurship, with Hewlett-Packard, the UN and several NGOs. She is a 21/64 certified trainer and member of the association Giving Woman.
Bénédicte graduated from the University of Geneva in International Relations in September 2016 and joined WISE in October 2016 for 9 months. She wrote her bachelor essay about the humanitarian aid of the League of Nations and the Red Cross between Greece and Turkey in 1923. It is through her courses at University that she developed her interest in philanthropy. In the future, she aims at combining her interest in events planning and philanthropy. Today, she serves as the President of the student association UniParty that organizes events in the University such as a music festival and a gathering that supports charities in Geneva.
Alexandra joined WISE in January 2017 and will be responsible for initiatives promoting the development of philanthropy, as the NewGen Council.
Prior to WISE, Alexandra worked 7 years within the Pictet Group in charge of the design, the content, the organisation and staging of events for ultra-high-net-worth families. Among others, she managed the Family Consiliums, the Family Office Master Classes and the Next Generation Initiatives. Before joining Pictet, Alexandra was a Private Banker working on the French market for 13 years with BNP Paribas (Switzerland) SA and Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) SA.
Alexandra holds a Master’s Degree from HEC Lausanne, a Master’s from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and an AZEK Diploma – qualified Financial Analyst.
Founder of the agency “Le Changement 2.0” Bruno is specialized in accompanying women, men, teams and companies, to help them succeed their change projects using notably processes with collective intelligence. He is a certified coach by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council Specialized with a level “Senior Practioner”. He is advising WISE for the NewGen engagement and family philanthropy.
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At WISE, we enjoy collaborating in team, giving responsability, having fun, and making a difference with hard work.
We want to give a chance to young people ending their studies to acquire a first professional experience working in philanthropy, and being exposed to a variety of mandates and tasks.
If you are interested in philanthropy, are finishing your studies and want a real enriching professional experience, you can apply for our internship position. Twice a year, we recruit interns for duration of 6 months, and you can send us your CV and cover letter.
WISE helped me to acquire practical skills in a great team, and was a chance as it opened me new opportunities for my future.
Having the opportunity to attend brainstorms at WISE was a particularly stimulating and enriching experience as I have learned to share and gather ideas with colleagues.
My internship allowed me to understand the current philanthropy developments and to build solid relations with Swiss partners.
Since its foundation, WISE has been recognized by its peers for the excellence of its services. Our awards include the “Child 10 Award” in 2010, “Philanthropy Team of the Year,” from the STEP community – the first non Anglo-Saxon company to earn the distinction – and the Innovation Prize of the Chamber of Commerce, Services and Industry of Geneva. In 2016, WISE has been shortlisted for the Ernst and Young Entreprise of the Year prize and the MPF Award for the Best Philanthropy Engagement 2017.