Irish American businessman and philanthropist Chuck

The Irish arm of Chuck Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies fund is closing its operations and will make its final grant by the end of the year.

The Irish American businessman and philanthropist established Atlantic Philanthropies in 1982. The organization’s Irish office opened in 1990 and since then the foundation has invested more than in $2bn in the country, mainly in educational projects. Wolrdwide Feeny has given away in excess of $8 billion.

The Irish Examiner reports that new accounts filed to the Companies Registration Office by Atlantic Philanthropies (Ireland) Limited show that the fund’s assets dwindled with its financial results to the end of December 2015 showing its total net assets at €293,650.

At the end of 2014, the Irish organization assets were worth €1.32m.

The trustees’ report confirms that the fund intends to “terminate its activities” by December 31, 2016.

Feeney, 85, had previously indicated his intention to bring his philanthropic organization to a close by 2020 with its final grant being made by December 2016.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the process to wind down began four years ago and the foundation’s entire portfolio will be liquid by the end of the year. Remaining funds will keep the organization open until 2020, with limited staff concentration on monitoring the final grants.

Atlantic Philanthropies still operates from bases in Bermuda, Ireland and the United States, but has closed its offices in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Vietnam and Australia.

Chief executive Christopher G Oechsli recently reported on the nearly $2bn invested in Ireland since 1990, including $21m in “advocating for and securing human rights in Northern Ireland.” Feeney played a major role in the Irish peace process and was a key fgure in brinign about the IRA ceasefire. 

The foundation's final Irish grants have focused on ensuring “the sustainability of key grantee organizations that will hold government accountable for providing services and meeting its commitments.”

The University of Limerick has been one of the foundation's biggest beneficiaries. Feeney has invested nearly $180m across a range of fields at the university including research, medical and scientific innovation, athletics and student residences, and has also helped build several buildings at the school, including the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University Arena, and Glucksman Library.

The fund has also benefited other Irish universities including  NUIG (€39.7m); UCC (€79.1m); DCU (€112.8m); Trinity College Dublin (€80.6m); UCD (€31.4m); NUI Maynooth (€29.3m); and Queen’s University Belfast (€116.8m).

Atlantic Philanthropies will have divested nearly $8bn by the time its operations across the globe come to a close.