Updated on July 27, 2022

Do sensitivity, ethics, philosophy and investment rhyme in unison?

By Shana Devleschoudere
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"Philanthropy aims to make the world a better place for everyone by investing selflessly in projects with positive and sustainable societal impacts." Thomas de Wouters of Oplinter

"Philanthropy aims to make the world a better place for everyone by investing selflessly in projects with positive and sustainable societal impacts." Thomas de Wouters of Oplinter

This week marks the end of our "Investing differently" series. Before closing this chapter, we wanted to tell you about a business unlike any other ... just like its founder.
It was in 2000, when Thomas de Wouters of Oplinter was inspired by the independent family office models and decided to launch a family wealth advisory business that was totally independent of any financial institution. He named it Umani. Quite a symbol already! Twenty-two years later, the business has taken off, the team has grown and skills have been combined to provide a global service.
And when it comes to comprehensiveness, Umani does not cut corners. As we have already mentioned in another newsletter, the company first deals with family governance by helping to define a family's project and its future generations, and then by structuring the assets through efficient solutions. Estate planning is also one of the strong points of the Family Office, in order to avoid any problem in the transmission of wealth. Finally, the company has a French counter to accompany its clients in a cross-border context.
But let's focus on the personality of its founder, Thomas de Wouters d'Oplinter, born in 1969, the year Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Another symbol.
Thanks to his engineering studies, he will benefit from a great horizon. But Thomas has a strong character and at 23 years old, finding himself a little young to work, he goes off to travel the world for 2 years! Camera in hand, he will cross Africa, Southeast Asia, the Andes Cordillera from Tierra del Fuego to the Darien Gap, between Colombia and Panama, Central America to Mexico from where ... he will decide to return to his family.
Obviously, at that time, no mobile phone, no internet, no modern means of communication. What a temperament for a young man who has barely passed his twenties... And his whole career will be like that: a well-made head, a touch of madness and passion in everything he does. These are the ingredients of his success.
Today, Thomas has found another way of fulfilling himself: Umani now carries out philanthropy and sponsorship actions as part of its global social project. For example, his company supports the non-profit organization Spinmaker. Founded in 1990, this association gives young people in difficulty the opportunity to experience adventurous sports weekends. This project fits in perfectly with the two main areas in which Umani has decided to commit itself: helping disadvantaged children and fighting poverty and social exclusion.
But that's not all: the company supports another non-profit organization that organizes exhibitions of artists, most of whom are not well known, thus giving them the opportunity to meet a wider public than a small circle of initiates. For Umani, this is an opportunity to invite customers, partners, etc... A win-win situation!
Thomas de Wouters d'Oplinter has decided to live off the beaten track. And because he has a heart, he leads others. A good guy, this Thomas! He deserves that we become one too...
To learn more about the humanity with which Thomas manages UMANI, visit the LOBBY 55 page turner.
In the meantime, this weekend, if you are an Auguster, be human with the Julyers. For them, vacations are over...