Duty-free and the secret 8 billion could almost be the title of a spy movie.
In fact, in this story something has been nosost for many years.
The facts are about the birth of the idea of duty-free, a turnover of several billion dollars, a foundation and a secret financier. But let’s go with order.
Duty-free, which I imagine we’d all heard at least, are shops located in free zones such as airports, cruise ships or in some particular geographical-administrative areas.
In these premises the products are sold in retail and are exempt from certain local or state taxes, provided that the goods themselves will be taken out of the country.
The idea of duty-free was born in 1960 by Charles Francis Feeney and his university classmate Robert Miller and soon became a very important entrepreneurial reality.
The DFS (duty free shoppers) was born in Hong Kong and in a few years reaches practically all the world.
Since 1997, the majority have been owned by the Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and has further developed to have 420 stores around the world.
During the acquisition of DFS, due to a commercial dispute, an initiative started many years earlier by Charles Francis Feeney was unearthed.
In 1982, Chuck Feeney created and financed The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the largest private foundations in the world.
What’s extraordinary is that he didn’t just put that money into it, but to the association, Feeney got all his DFS shares!
No one knew about this, not even his business partners. Everything he did for and thanks to Atlantic Philanthropies had only one rule: anonymity.
As you can read on the foundation’s home page, Charles Feeney’s total bill of what Charles Feeney donated is 8 billion, with which they were actions aimed at building opportunities and creating a fairer world.
Currently Chuck Feeney lives in a rented apartment, does not own a car and when he travels he does so in economy class.
The thought of this extraordinary person could be summed up as follows:
“Use your wealth to help people. Use your wealth to create institutions to help people”
The Atlantic Philanthropies will end its life in 2020 but, following the thinking of its founder, in 2015 the Atlantic Fellows was born® which is responsible for seeking funding for projects related to the resolution of urgent problems and the construction of a fairer world.
Like Chuck many other people are working to improve the lives of everyone and the planet. Some providing huge economic resources, others donating some of their time. It only takes a few small sharings to do your part.
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