Financially speaking, transparency lies at the heart of the King Baudouin Foundation’s activities. Every year we publish our accounts and annual balance sheet in our activities report and financial report.
Social impact and sustainability
We manage the assets of the Foundation and those of the numerous Funds that we administer so as to generate sufficient resources to finance our activities over the long term. We also take great pains to integrate criteria of sustainability into our investment strategy in the fields of the environment, social themes and management. This strategy reflects our desire to use our capital in a positive manner.
Furthermore, we use part of our capital to make investments that have a social impact. We provide capital, loans and bank guarantees to organisations in Belgium as well as abroad. It is always a priority that investments social impact is greater than any financial reward.
Several bodies are charged with overseeing the Foundation’s financial management.
Board of Governors
- Mission: As a veritable orchestral conductor, the Board of Governors defines the guidelines of our policy. It also assumes ultimate responsibility for our budget and accounts.
- Composition: The Board of Governors comprises a Chair (Pierre Wunsch), two Vice-Chairs, and a maximum of 12 Governors, Board Members, including the Chief Executive Officer (Brieuc Van Damme). Within the Board of Governors there is one Board Member who represents HM the King.
- Operation: New members of the Board of Governors are elected by a two-thirds majority vote by the Governors sitting or represented. Their mandate lasts for four years and may be renewed once. The upper age limit for a Governor is 70. The Governors choose a Chair and two Vice-Chairs. The Chair is elected for a term of two years, renewable once. The Board of Governors acts by majority vote..
- Mission: The Financial Committee assists the Board of Governors. It defines the strategy regarding investment of the Foundation’s capital and oversees the investments. The Committee is in turn assisted by various specialised companies.
- Composition: The Board of Governors designates three people, outside of its members, to operate as the Financial Committee for a period of five years (with a renewable mandate) . The upper age limit for members of the Financial Committee is 67.
- Mission: The Audit Committee provides support to the Board of Governors in overseeing the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the financial report. The Committee also monitors the efficacy of the Foundation’s internal control systems and risk management.
- Composition: The Audit Committee includes at least three members of the Board of Governors who are appointed for a mandate of four years.
- Mission: The Censors monitor the King Baudouin Foundation's administration of wills and bequests. They report to the Board of Governors on the way in which the Foundation manages the legacies entrusted to it and how it fulfils the associated testamentary obligations.
- Composition: The Board of Governors designates four Censors, who are not members of the Board. They hold the position of Censor for five years and their mandate is renewable. The upper age limit for a Censor is 67.
Our accounts are submitted for annual review to an independent external auditor. At the end of the year and prior to publication, the audited accounts are submitted to the Commercial Court of Brussels and to the National Bank of Belgium.
Chartered accountants BDO Risk & Assurance Services is also tasked with conducting on-site spot checks at the Foundation regarding the respect of procedures concerning the management of projects and funds.
Sale of movable goods and real estate
Specific rules are in place regarding movable goods and real estate transferred to the King Baudouin Foundation, but for which the donors did not specify that the Foundation had to keep them.
Movable goods are sold by public auction. An auction house is selected on the basis of the nature and quality of the items and the expertise, methodology and charges of the auctioneers. The sale may be divided between different auction houses depending on the quality of the items. Individual items of special value may be entrusted to foreign auctioneers. Auctions are conducted or supervised by a notary or court bailiff.
Real estate properties are also sold at auction. A private sale may be considered in exceptional circumstances, which have to be justified, and may be done for the following reasons:
- the contents are jointly owned and the sale is to the joint owners;
- the property is considered ‘non-saleable’ (too large, too small, in poor repair, in a poor location etc.);
- there are neighbourhood problems (boundaries, planning permission etc.) that would cause unnecessary costs.