The Foundation

Foundation

Gerda & Victor B. Strands Foundation
Victor B. Strand bought Toms in the 40's and made the company blossom after WW II. The success was driven by popular sellers, such as the Gold Bar (Guld Barre), chocolate turtles (Toms Kæmpe Skildpadde) and Yankie Bar. In the mid-70's, he created a foundation with the purpose of owning and managing Toms.

History of the Foundation

Toms was established in 1924 by the two pharmacists, Hans Troyel and V.H. Meyer. The company's name is a conglomerate of their names Trojel and Meyer (the 's' was added later, to prevent the candy machines from saying 'empty' in Danish).

Victor B. Strand, the owner of Tørsleff & Co., bought Toms in 1924. In the years after the Second World War, Toms grew under his supervision. Victor B. Strand launched the gold bar, the turtles and Yankie Bar. He bought Anthon Berg, Pingvin Lakrids and Galle & Jessen, making Toms a booming business.

In the mid-'70s, Victor B. Strand realised that his son, Jørgen Strand, did not possess the necessary qualities for running and developing Toms in the desired direction. Besides, his son's health was rather weak, as he had diabetes.

Victor B. Strand felt obligated to his life's work and the many employees at Toms. He decided that the best way of securing the company was to create a foundation with the purpose of maintaining a healthy economic development at Toms. The founding documents signed on Victor B. Strand's 76th birthday, December 12 1974. Victor B. Strand was the chairman of the foundation at the time of his death, September 16 1983.

The Board

Marianne Philip

Chairman
Education: LL. M. from the University of Copenhagen and Duke University, US. Partner of Kromann Reumert. Board positions: Adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), The Committee on Good Foundation Governance, Novo Nordisk Foundation (VCH), Bitten og Mads Clausens Fond (VCH), Codan A/S (BM), Codan Forsikring A/S (BM), Gerda & Victor B. Strand Holding (CH), etc. In depth experience in corporate legal affairs, including corporate and foundation and trust law. Experience in governance work on boards of directors.

Gregers Wedell-Wedellsborg

Board Member
Education: Master of Science (MSc) in Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Master in Public Administration, Harvard University. CEO, Matas A/S. Previously: Executive Vice President COOP Danmark A/S, CEO Berlingske Media. Member of the Danish Government’s Disruption Council, Dansk Erhverv (BM), Gyldendal A/S (BM), Vallø Stift (BM), Gerda & Victor B. Strand Holding A/S (BM). Extensive experience from executive and board positions in Danish companies. Extensive expertise within retail, digitalization, media and strategic business development.

Henrik Brandt

Board Member
Education: Msc (Econ.), Copenhagen Business School. MBA, Stanford University, California. Chairman and Non-Executive Director. Previous positions: President and CEO, Royal Unibrew A/S, Unomedical A/S and Sophus Berendsen A/S, etc. Board positions: Gerda & Victor B. Strands Fond and Gerda & Victor B. Strand Holding A/S (BM), Rockwool Int. A/S (CH), Danish Bake Holding ApS (CH), Nemlig.com (CH) and Intervare A/S (CH), Fritz Hansen A/S (CH), etc. Extensive experience from executive and board positions in Danish and international companies. Long industrial experience and extensive expertise within FMCG and strategic business development.

Jørgen Dirksen

Board Member
Education: HA (BSc) in Economics and Business Administration. Formerly: CEO Rynkeby Foods A/S, CEO Unicare, Nordic Market Director Bluemøller, CEO Tomten A/S, CEO Sara Lee, Commercial Director Toms Group. Board positions: Good Food Group A/S (CH), Orana A/S (BM), Alsiano A/S (BM), Grathwol A/S (CH), Kryta A/S (BM), Helsemin A/S (BM), Gerda og Victor B. Strand Holding A/S (BM), etc. Extensive experience from executive and board positions in Danish and international companies. Long industrial experience and extensive expertise within FMCG and strategic business development.

Hans-Jørgen Filtenborg

Employee Representative
Education: Mechanical Engineer from Copenhagen University College of Engineering. Senior Project Manager. Employed at Toms Gruppen A/S since 1995. Board positions: Toms Gruppen A/S Ferie- og Jubilæumsfond (CH), Gerda & Victor B. Strand Holding A/S (Employee Representative).

Jannick Lindholdt

Employee Representative
Education: Operator and Automation technician. Maintenance/repair & service warehouse. Employed at Toms Gruppen A/S since 1995. Board positions: Occupational health & safety representative – repair/maintenance Ballerup. Member of Toms’ occupational health & safety council. Toms’ Værkstedsklub Ballerup/Hvidovre (BM). Gerda & Victor B. Strands Fond Holding A/S (Employee representative).

Tina Nina Steenberg

Employee Representative
Production worker. Employed at Toms Gruppen A/S since 2000. Staff representative for hourly-paid employees in Hvidovre. Works council.

The grants of the foundation

The foundation's grant policy is anchored in the charter, last updated April 4, 2016. The board of the foundation has laid out a policy that can be divided into the following components:

Grants with the direct purpose of securing and supporting the economic foundation of the Toms Group and associated companies.

Grants with the indirect purpose of securing and supporting the economic foundation of the Toms Group and associated companies.

Grants for services and social purposes that support the common good, which indirectly secure and support the economic foundation of the Toms Group and associated companies.

The grants of the foundation are decided upon at board meetings that are held, according to the charter, as often as deemed necessary. At the annual meeting, the financial framework for the next year is decided upon. The total amount of grants must adhere to the financial frame that is set by the board.

As a consequence of the foundation's purpose, grants are usually given according to requests from the Toms Group A/S."

Toms Sustainable Cocoa Sourcing Programme: 500,000 DKK

Partnering with ECOM Sustainable Management Service, Gerda & Victor B. Strand's Foundation supports the 4,800 Ghanese cocoa farmers, who grow the West-African cocoa of Toms Group. The purpose of the programme is to develop a sustainable cocoa production, and the Gerda & Victor B. Strand Foundation has been contributing to this development since 2007. 

Kræftens Bekæmpelse (Danish Cancer Society): 250,000 DKK

Since 2018 Gerda&Victor B. Strands Fond has partnered with Kræftens Bekæmpelse (Danish Cancer Society) in connection with their annual "Support the breasts" campaign to support the fight against breast cancer. The campaign collects funds for research, prevention, information and councelling.

Training Facilities for Toms Group employees: 127,000 DKK

Gerda&Victor B. Strands Fond supports a balanced life style, including sports activities for the employees at Toms Group A/S. In 2019 the Foundation donated 127,000 DKK to expand the training facilities at the headquarters in Ballerup.

Danmarks Idrætsforbund (Danish Sports Association) (Toms Guldpulje) - 1,000.000 DKK

Gerda&Victor B. Strands Fond supports Toms Guldpulje, a new initiative from 2019, partnering with Danmarks Idrætsforbund. Toms Guldpulje supports sports clubs, clubs wanting to create better conditions for family sports. Gerda&Victor B. Strand donated 1 million DKK to Toms Guldpulje in 2019.

Toms Visitor Centre - 150,000 DKK

Since 1965, Toms Gruppen A/S has invited school classes to visit the chocolate factory. From 2010 school visits have been part of a teaching course where the class prepares for the visit, a.o. using educational material made by Toms Gruppen. In addition, Toms Gruppen A/S offers a course for use exclusively at the chools. Here, the classes receive an Adventure Box with cocoa and chocolate material as well as access to interactive teaching material. In this way, several classes throughout Denmark can learn about chocolate production, balanced lifestyle, sustainability and quality. In a desire to continue to further develop and offer this to the school classes, the Gerda&Victor B. Strand Fond has chosen to provide support for the development of a new Adventure Box.

Business activities

Gerda & Victor B. Strand's Foundation owns the Toms Gruppen A/S and the associated companies and brands.

Purpose of the Foundation

Gerda & Victor B. Strand's Foundation's primary purpose is to secure and support the economic foundation of the companies associated with the Toms Group A/S. This is done to ensure that their future existence and development is built upon good commercial and economic understanding.

Recommendations on Foundation Governance

The foundation has already, due to the enactment of new legislation for foundations of January 1st 2015, adjusted statutes and rules of corporate procedure, to ensure the foundation lives up to current legislation. In conjunction with the annual report of 2015, the foundation has followed the new recommendations for recommendation on Foundation Governance. A detailed breakdown of how the foundation has addressed these demands can be found at https://godfondsledelse.dk/ (in Danish). 

Gerda & Victor B. Strand's Foundation is run by a board of eight members. Three of which are employee representatives from the Toms Group A/S. Board members of the foundation are appointed for a four year-period and cannot sit on the board for longer than the end of the year, in which the member turns 75. A minimum of 5 board meetings must be held per year. Employee representatives are appointed for a period of 4 years. There is one female member among the appointed board members. It is the objective of the board to have 2 female board members by 2023.

Members of the board are paid a fee of DKK 160,000 a year. The Deputy Chairman receives 1½ times the base fee and the Chairperson receives 3 times the base fee. The Chairman of Toms Gruppen A/S, who is also member of the Foundation, receives ½ times the base fee.The Chairman of the investment committee receives a supplement of ½ times the base fee.

 

Contact us

Gerda & Victor B. Strands Foundation can be contacted through Toms Gruppen, Toms Allé 1, 2750 Ballerup.

Tlf: 44 89 10 00                  E-mail: grs@tomsgroup.com

Alternatively through the foundations chairman, Marianne Philip, Sundkrogsgade 5, 2100 København Ø.

Tlf: 40 79 10 14                  E-mail: mp@kromannreumert.com

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