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By Diane Gallagher - November 28, 2017
You survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the focus was on purchasing gifts for those closest to you, or maybe even yourself. Now it's time to think about expanding your impact on this #GivingTuesday . On a day that's about making a difference, I'm reminded of American Century Investments® founder and how he established this firm to keep giving back.
Around here, we say our company story is about money and passion—because it is—but not in the traditional sense. The late James Stowers Jr. had a passion for helping people. He wanted to give them a way to become financially independent, and he aspired to give back something more valuable than money. Jim accomplished both in his lifetime, and those passions live on.
Jim founded American Century Investments nearly 60 years ago to help people invest for their hopes and dreams. He built the company on the belief that if we help clients become successful, they would make us successful. It's still the foundation for how we manage money today.
Later, Jim and his wife, Virginia, founded the Stowers Institute for Medical Research because they wanted to give back to the millions of people who had helped them succeed. Inspired by their own experiences with cancer, the couple endowed their personal wealth to establish the basic biomedical research organization bearing their name.
They envisioned a state-of-the-art facility where some of the best scientists could focus on uncovering new insights into the fundamental processes underlying heath and disease. And, they wanted the scientists to focus on that research without the pressures of securing their own funding.
Ultimately, Jim and Virginia's purpose was to help people affected by devastating diseases. To that end, they also founded BioMed Valley Discoveries . This clinical stage biotechnology company has a mission to address unmet patient needs across a wide spectrum of diseases.
You might assume our story ends with breaking ground on the Stowers Institute. Actually it was just chapter two, because the Stowers' endowment wasn't a one-time gift. By giving the vast majority of their ownership stake in American Century Investments to the Institute, they have provided ongoing funding for the scientific work there.
Through this ownership structure, American Century Investments makes annual dividend payments to the endowment that supports the Stowers Institute. Since 2001, these payments have totaled nearly $1.3 billion.
Endowments, ownership structures, dividends—it can all sound complicated, and frankly, it is. But it's also the catalyst that allows us and our clients to support research that's dedicated to eliminating life-threatening diseases.
As a client, you can make a difference in the lives of those who are affected by diseases—just by partnering with us. Investing in your own financial future allows you to support the important work at the Stowers Institute and gives the "hope for life" that Jim and Virginia Stowers envisioned. We believe the story redefines prosperity in the best of ways, and gives it meaning.
There's more to our story, and it's worth taking a few minutes to let it inspire you. You can also find out more about how you can make an impact.
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The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.