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"I very much believe that philanthropy
is a fantastic way for members of
families to work together."

                - Steven Rosenbaum

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Family philanthropy and medical research - Steve Rosenbaum

Steve Rosenbaum is the third generation of his family to engage in philanthropy, both individually in fundraising for a children's hospice and through a charitable trust with a significant track record in health projects.

His grandparents, Nat and Teresa Rosenbaum, founded Rosetrees Trust with a multi-million pound endowment in 1987 to mark their golden wedding anniversary. The couple wanted to share their good fortune by supporting high quality medical research to achieve a significant impact on some of the most critical illnesses.

Steven Rosenbaum trained as an accountant, worked as a foreign exchange dealer and in 1997, joined a financial services business that was sold to a private equity company a decade later.

After the sale, he began working in his family office, which consists of an operating business, management of the family's investments and Rosetrees Trust. Now in his forties, Rosenbaum is married with three young children.

He also has a role, through the consultants Family Business Solutions, assisting other families in such issues as their wealth transfer, including the psychology of such transitions, saying that his experiences "convinced me that the route to achieving an overall balance of health, wealth and happiness in our family enterprise is to 'get organised'.

"I know that multi-generational wealth creation and transition is very challenging and that the scale of the challenge can overwhelm the desire to do anything about it, but doing nothing is fraught with danger." And he emphasises that philanthropy can be a productive opportunity for family members to work together.

At Rosetrees Trust, the positive results of family philanthropy are clear. Providing support for more than 100 projects in such fields as dementia, cancer and heart disease, the trust sponsors outstanding young researchers so they can become future leaders, enables clinicians to improve their skills and knowledge, supports the development of new diagnostic tools and funds the testing of existing drugs for other benefits.

Reflecting the entrepreneurial character of its founders and present family trustees, Rosetrees Trust is encouraging others to use its expertise and become co-donors. By providing detailed information that would otherwise be hard and expensive to gather, the trust hopes to save donors' time and money, and help researchers focus more on their work and less on fundraising.

It has already leveraged some of its income, £1 million, as seed funding to secure over £22 million of grants from major funders, and now has a longer term aim of raising £100 million for further medical research projec