Triodos Bank has pioneered arts and culture finance for many years. But in 2010 the arts and culture sector was confronted with diminishing government support, in many of the countries where Triodos Bank operates. This increased the need for the finance Triodos Bank offers, and prompted wider interest in its approach to the sector across Europe.
Triodos Cultuurfonds (The Netherlands)
Triodos Bank offers Triodos Cultuurfonds to its Dutch clients. The fund was launched in 2006 and invests in cultural projects, as defined by the Dutch government, that aim to improve and preserve arts and culture. The fund helps make the sector less dependent on subsidies, grants and charity by encouraging cultural entrepreneurship.
In 2010, the fund increased its assets by EUR 55.5 million to EUR 194.4 million. It expanded its portfolio with 8 new initiatives, delivering a return of 1.9% excluding a 2.5% tax credit for private investors. In 2010 the new Dutch government initially announced it would cancel an extra fiscal discount of 1.3%, by 1 January 2011. This forced the fund to temporarily halt trading in its shares. When, in November it became clear, after an intensive lobby process in which we actively participated, that parliament would reduce this fiscal stimulation in gradual steps over a period of four years, the fund reopened. The closure, and the effect of the new tax-plan, had only a limited effect on the development of the fund in the last quarter of 2010.
Prospects for 2011 for Triodos Investment Management
and Arts & Culture
Triodos Investment Management intends to maintain Triodos Cultuurfonds and develop new financial instruments to support the cultural sector in the Netherlands. It also plans to expand the concept of arts and culture investment funds to other branches of Triodos Bank. It expects Triodos Cultuurfonds to maintain its innovative role in the sector despite recent developments by the Dutch government.