"Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man..."
–Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – 79 AD) quotation.
To explain the origin of our Private Interest Foundations law in Panama, it must consider similar entities that throughout history have been used for asset protection, administration and succession of patrimony. While it is true that the Romans did not create the figure of "Foundations" itself; with the recognition by the Emperor Augusto Cesar of the "fiducia" concept, the first steps were taken for the business of asset management, Nowadays.
In the Civil law Imperial Rome, there was the phenomenon that not all people were "citizens", and therefore, certain children were not able to receive the inheritance of their parents. The father decided to make an agreement with a friend (Fideicommissum "cum Amico "), so that upon his death he will deliver the assets to his non-citizen children.
Later, in the middle ages the crossed knights left their families and assets unprotected to fight on holy land. Because of this fact, an alternative emerged to this situation, by leaving their property in the hands of someone, so that in case of death in battle the assets were delivered to their families.
This new figure was refined by the English law, known as "Trust", developed in the low middle ages by the "English Equity" rules at the "Court of Chancery". Subsequently, with the development of Germanic legislation about the legal fiction of the "legal personality", added to the acceptance of "non-profit entities " because of the social impact of the French Revolution; in the nineteenth century, finally the phenomenon of the "Foundations" was recognized.
The Foundations were fully accepted throughout Europe for beneficial and social ends. It was not until the 20th century that, brilliantly, certain countries of the center of Europe created the " Family foundation, which being non-profit, was used with ecclesiastical, private or family effects.
Such was the case of the Principality of Liechtenstein, with the "Liechtenstein Persons and Company Act" (1926), establishing the Public non-profit foundations - "Private", moving away from the traditional public and social interest without profit.
The Roman-civil law legislation in Liechtenstein, added to "some of the most recent innovations in the legislation on Trust of the Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions ", allowed the creation in Panama of this special figure, using the best features in both legal worlds. This is how the Panamanian "Private Interest Foundation" came into being, with the validity of the Law 25 of June 12, 1995 in our country.