Julius Baer, a private Swiss bank, has been in Hong Kong since March. In Switzerland, the finance house supports causes involving children and also has a huge art collection to support budding Swiss artists. With a relatively small presence in Hong Kong, it means that the staff can decide on the spot what causes they would like to support, says the bank's managing director and chief executive for North Asia, Andrea Benenati. 'That's the beauty of us being rather small here is that we can be spontaneous. We chose to support charities that involve children because we all have children ourselves, and Christmas is predominantly a children's holiday,' he said. The bank has become a first-time donor to Operation Santa Claus, 'because you read and hear it everywhere', said Mr Benenati. 'Every day you see the number going up. We just feel that it was a good cause and we wanted to do something - both our staff in Singapore and those in Hong Kong.' Operation Santa Claus, co-organised by RTHK and the South China Morning Post, fitted the remit for staff donors within the bank because it supports charities involving children. Also when we contribute we want to see a direct result,' Mr Benenati said. 'Unicef and other huge organisations do good work, but it's not like when you give a direct donation and can see the result.' Mr Benenati gives the example of friends of his who wanted to build a school in Thailand, for which Julius Baer provided the money. 'The money is given to build the school and you see the school at the end of it.' He agreed that a good business year in Hong Kong meant there was more money around, a factor that has helped boost contributions to Operation Santa Claus. 'Of all the nine years I've been here, this is the highest. Just look at the stock market. It will last. There will be a correction and a slowdown, but there won't be a crash. Just look at the growth in north Asia. The spirit, growth, energy, action, it's all here.'