Jeremy Balkin: Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum

Wednesday, 17 April 2013  Features

The worlds of high finance and philanthropic endeavour may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but to Jeremy Balkin, they're very much a part of the same cycle.

A former Macquarie Group executive, the 30-year-old Australian School of Business alumnus and founder of not-for-profit organization, Give While You Live, has now dedicated his life to encouraging the super wealthy to invest in areas yielding high societal dividends.

"My biggest gift is access to capital and the ability to influence its allocation," says Balkin, who graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2005. "I deal with some very wealthy people and it's an enormous responsibility and privilege. It's very easy to make rich people richer, but I also hope to make them richer in a non-financial sense as well, to view philanthropy as an asset class."

Balkin's philanthropic involvement is diverse and extensive. After leaving Macquarie Group in 2012, he set up Karma Capital - an independent financial, investment and philanthropic advisory organization with a unique Asia-Pacific focus. A highly active LIVESTRONG ambassador, his CV also includes his role as Chairman of the Carpe Diem Philanthropic Group and the Australian-Indian education foundation Tara.Ed.

In recognition of his professional expertise and philanthropic efforts, Balkin has been selected to represent Australia as a Young Global Leader at the influential World Economic Forum. The five-year appointment will see him contribute valuable insights on banking and capital markets.

"The World Economic Forum recognised me for my philanthropic passions and my professional background, in particular my views on banking reform," he explains. "And since starting Karma, I've been quite outspoken on the need for independence in financial services."