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Firetree Advisory is the Private Corporate Trustee of the Firetree Trust and Starfish Education Trust, established under the Laws of Singapore and the successor of the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, which was originally endowed by Richard Paul “Dick” Haugland - a philanthropist, scientist and entrepreneur. 


Firetree Advisory is responsible for the execution of the Trusts' philanthropic missions as well as for the management of the assets held in trust, governance, compliance and oversight of our all entities part of the Firetree Group.


Firetree Advisory is led by Francesco Caruso, Dick’s long-time friend and colleague. Francesco, as Dick's successor, is also the Trusts’ protector, and he is ultimately responsible to ensure the Trusts’ values and vision are shared by every member of the team as well as embedded in every initiative we develop. As such, Francesco has final approval over all investments and all grants and donations made by the entities part of the Firetree group.


Firetree Trust's Philanthropic mission is implemented through Firetree Philanthropy, let by Nicky Wilkinson, while direct social impact programs  to improve the reach and quality of education for all children are implemented in Thailand though Starfish Education, led by Dr. Prae Seributra.


You can read more about our team here and structure here.


All Firetree Group’s philanthropic initiatives are managed from Asia.

Ancho - Our Values


Firetree Advisory and every entity that is a part of the Firetree Group operate by the following set of values, which inform both our investment philosophy and our philanthropic vision.


Empathy: Our most fundamental value. Everything we design, implement and support is built on it. 

Humility: We never seek external recognition and have no desire to become a recognized “brand".

Respect: For our colleagues, partners, investees and every single member of the communities in which we are involved through our philanthropic work.


Trust: in our team members is at the centre of the management philosophy of Firetree Advisory and all its associated entities. Similarly, mutual trust is the essential element for all our partnerships and investments.

Accountability: Every member of the Firetree Group - and Francesco in particular - is responsible to ensure the assets left by Dick are spent as effectively as possible to solve the problems faced by the communities we support through our philanthropic work.


Our ultimate accountability goes to the children, educators and parents in Thailand for the work implemented by Starfish Education and to all the individuals living in the communities served by the initiatives and programs supported by Firetree Philanthropy.


Richard P. Haugland ("Dick") was an incredibly generous man who supported hundreds of thousands of people through various projects and organizations in Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India and Thailand. With his company, Molecular Probes (founded with his wife, Rosaria) he invented some of the most effective fluorescent dyes used in laboratories around the world (the Alexa Fluor dyes remain a best seller).  When he sold the company in 2003 he transferred a very significant sum into his foundation, the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, and kept adding assets to it until his death in October 2016.

Those who knew Dick agree that he was a kind, naive genius. No matter what language, cultural and religious difference there might be, he connected with children.  He loved teaching and developing curricula and he was brilliant at that. 

Over the years he traveled with Francesco from Bangladesh to the Philippines, from rural Myanmar to India and Nepal, from remote areas of Vietnam and Laos and every corner of Cambodia and Thailand.


Starfish Country Home School Foundation, in Northern Thailand was his home from 2004 until his passing in October 2016.

At Starfish, Dick was actively involved with curriculum development and children’s enrichment activities to ensure that the children get the best quality education from the programs. His unique multi-media teaching methods and materials in math, English ("Thaiglish") and Thai languages have made a tremendous impact on preschool and primary school children.

Anchor - Legacy
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