Many liberal leaning foundations in the US overtly support political causes in the name of “philanthropy,” and spend tens of millions of dollars each year pushing an environmentalist agenda; often with the goal of carbon credit taxation. One of these “green” mega-funders stands out and pushes millions in funds from the relative obscurity of its headquarters in Switzerland; far from prying eyes (like the US IRS disclosure rules).
The Oak Foundation’s mission statement reads: “[the] Oak Foundation is family-led and reflects the vision and values of its founders. In all its work Oak pursues rights-based approaches, gender equality and partnership with the organizations we fund. We support civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice and nurture innovation and visionary leadership within it. We value diversity both within Oak and among our partners; we seek to be inclusive, flexible and engage with different points of view. We believe that the best grant-making reflects both careful due diligence and the willingness to take risks.”
The resources of Oak Foundation originated from an interest in the Duty-Free Shoppers business which Alan Parker helped to build. Today, the Foundation comprises a group of philanthropic organizations based in various countries around the world.
Oak Foundation was formally established in 1983. Alan Parker was born in the UK and now resides and operates in Geneva, Switzerland. Parker trained as an accountant, and worked for the Hong Kong-based DFS Group. He made his fortune from Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), a Hong Kong-based retail chain in which he was one of four main shareholders. Parker became DFS's third largest shareholder, and in 1997 when it was taken over by LVMH (Louis Vuitton & Moët Hennessy), Parker received about $840m (£464m) for his 20 percent share. Parker then also made his fortunes investing in hedge funds and high technology.
Link to full report: IR-19-178-002_Oak.pdf