The Foundation is a privately-funded foundation that owes its origin to the generosity of a single individual, the entrepreneur and patron Pedro Barrié de la Maza, and that of those who succeeded him. Created on 5 November 1966, the Foundation has destined its resources to programmes and projects aimed at promoting the sustainable development of Galicia, with particular emphasis on initiatives concerning education and the development of talent. Declared of public interest for Galicia by the Regional Ministry of Education on 13 June 1986, and main shareholder of Banco Pastor with a 42.18% stake as at year end 2011, the Foundation is currently one of Banco Popular’s shareholders of reference, financing its activities from the returns on its assets.
Pedro Barrié de la Maza made an initial endowment of 3.3 billion pesetas (of the day) in 1966, and also declared the Foundation his universal heir on his death.
This initial endowment was followed by subsequent donations made by his sister Gertrudis Barrié and his widow, Carmela Arias, who donated all of her fortune to the Foundation in 1981. Under the presidency of Carmela Arias y Díaz de Rábago (1920-2009) the Foundation steered a firm course, making it a point of reference in the world of European foundations and carrying out an intense programme of activities from its twin premises in the cities of A Coruña and Vigo.
Under the current chairmanship of José María Arias Mosquera, who is also the president of Banco Pastor, the Foundation renews its commitment to Galicia on a daily basis, applying to all the areas in which it is active strategies that place a high priority not only on innovation, rigour and excellence, but also on proximity, encouraging participation and ensuring that its services and activities are accessible to all Galicians, wherever they may be.