The foundation

The Malm Hospital in Jakobstad

New renovated Malm family graves

The founder

Otto A. Malm was the last representative of a family of merchants and ship-owners who dominated the economy of the town of Jakobstad (Pietarsaari in Finnish) on the west coast of Finland in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was born in Jakobstad on July 25th, 1838, and died there on November 25th, 1898. His wife Maria Malm perished in the conflagration of the steamship Österbotten on August 17th, 1874. They had no children, and thus Finnish Society became the beneficiary of the fortune of Otto A. Malm, which was one of the greatest in the country at the time. 

Otto A. Malm was a modern businessman in many respects. He extended the activities of the merchant firm to comprise industry, communications and investment. He operated on the stock exchanges of Stockholm and London and owned shares e.g. in the Central Bank of Australia. On his initiative and funded by him a railway track was built to Jakobstad. Malm was also engaged in the service of society: he was the first chairman of the City Council of Jakobstad and an Auditor of the Bank of Finland. 

In his will, Otto A. Malm deposited two million marks as a trust "for promoting higher teaching, general education, institutions serving the common good, and for research". In 1932 the trust was registered as a foundation. Malm also supported other social establishments. He donated the means for building and running a hospital in Jakobstad, known as the Malm Hospital, as well as money for the beautification of the town. Still, his primary wish was to support purposes "that may benefit our Fatherland as a whole".