Legatum Institute

Legatum Institute


The Legatum Institute (LI) was founded in 2007 by the Legatum Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dubai-based investment the Legatum Group. According to financial disclosures, in 2014 The Legatum Institute transferred activities from the Legatum Institute to the Legatum Institute Foundation, “a fully functioning educational charity and a non-partisan global think tank, focused on researching, understanding and promoting prosperity in its broadest sense.” [1], [2]

LI press materials describe the Legatum Institute Foundation as an “independent, non-partisan, global think tank” founded in 2009. [3]

In late 2017, the UK‘s charity commission began an investigation into The Legatum Institute Foundation after being “made aware of some concerns reported in the media about the charity’s independence and received complaints that it was political and acting to promote the views of ‘pro-Brexiteers’.” With respect to a specific pro-Brexit report put out by the Legatum Institute’s “Special Trade Commission (STC),” the commission found LI had “crossed a clear line” with the publication, and that it was “not consistent with the requirements associated with the advancement of education for the public benefit.” [4]

The Legatum Institute is currently run by Baroness Philippa Stroud, a Conservative politician who vocally supports a hard Brexit. Baroness Stroud was appointed CEO in 2016. [5], [6], [3]

Former chief of Vote Leave, Matthew Elliott, became a Senior Fellow of the Legatum Institute in 2017. He was also the founder of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, one of the organisations pushing for deregulation and operating out of 55 Tufton Street. Elliott announced he would be leaving the Legatum Institute in May 2018. [7]

Also linked to the Legatum Institute is controversial lobbyist Shanker Singham, who worked there for a year before leaving for a role at 55 Tufton Street organisation Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Singham also has links to US-based climate science denial organisations. [8]

Stance on Climate Change

December 9, 2015

An article posted on Legatum Institute’s website entitled “Fighting Climate Change with Freedom“ states that: [9]

Population growth—not capitalism—is the biggest cause of climate change, and the best way to save the planet is to give women more control over their own fertility.”


According to its website, “The Legatum Institute is part of a global community of organisations founded and supported by Legatum Foundation.” [10]

In December 2017, The Financial Times reported that most of the group’s income — £3.9m of a total of £4.3m — came from the Legatum Foundation Limited as well as an additional 40 donors who it does not disclose. 

Koch Funding

According to publicly available 990 tax forms, the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation gave the Legatum Institute a grant of $77,000 in 2018.

Key Documents & Financials

The Legatum Institute Foundation (Company # 07430903)

The Legatum Institute Foundation (Charity No. 1140719)

Key People


Name 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Description
Alastair Masser                   Y Y Y Director Of Communications
Nathan Gamester                   Y Y Y Chief Operating Officer
Philippa Stroud                   Y Y Y Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Brien                   Y Y Y Director Of Policy
Terrie Mccann                   Y Y Y Head Of Business Development
James Sproule                     Y Y Senior Fellow
Shelley Hartland                     Y Y Director Of Operations
Georgiana Bristol                     Y   Corporate Membership Director
Cristina Odone               Y Y Y     Director of the Centre for Cultural Transformation
Shanker Singham                 Y Y     Director of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies
Danny Kruger                   Y     Senior Fellow
Matthew Elliott                   Y     Senior Fellow
Anne Applebaum       Y Y Y Y Y Y       Director of the Transitions Forum
Alanna Putze           Y Y Y Y       Senior Programme Director
Hywel Williams           Y Y Y Y       Senior Adviser
Sian Hansen             Y Y Y       Executive Director
Christian Caryl               Y Y       Managing Editor, Democracy Lab
Peter Pomerantsev               Y Y       Senior Fellow
Alexandra Mousavizadeh                 Y       Director of the Prosperity Index
James O’Shaughnessy                 Y       Senior Fellow
Tim Montgomerie               Y         Senior Fellow
Graeme Leach             Y           Senior Fellow
Shazia Ejaz             Y           Acting Director of Communications
Jeffrey Gedmin         Y Y             President and CEO
Julian Knapp         Y Y             Director of Communications
Zachary Courser           Y             Senior Programme Director and Fellow
Nick Martin       Y Y               Chief Operating Officer
William Inboden Y Y Y                   Senior Vice President
Jean Geran   Y Y                   Senior Fellow
Ryan Streeter   Y Y                   Senior Fellow
Michael Magan   Y                     Senior Vice President for Management and External Relations

Research & Programmes

Name 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Description
Chloe de Preneuf Y Y Y Y Y Programme Coordinator for Transitions Forum
Harriet Maltby     Y Y Y Head of Policy Research, Prosperity Index
Fadil Aliriza       Y Y Visiting Senior Fellow
Mary Schutzer-Weissmann       Y Y Programme Coordinator
Alistair Shawcross         Y Research Intern
Emily Redding         Y Research Consultant
Fei Xue         Y Research Assistant
Giulia Gemelli         Y Research Intern
Ilya Zaslavskiy         Y Visiting Senior Fellow
Laura Bragiel         Y Research Intern
Paul Caruana Galizia         Y Head of Quantitative Research, Prosperity Index
Nathan Gamester Y Y Y Y   Chief Operating Officer
Joana Alfaiate     Y Y   Research Analyst
Alex Bleasdale       Y   Programme Assistant
Anthony Demetriou       Y   Research Intern
Anton Shekhovtsov       Y   Visiting Senior Fellow
Graeme Leach       Y   Senior Fellow
Stephen Clarke       Y   Programme Manager
Christian Caryl Y Y Y     Managing Editor, Democracy Lab
Novella Bottini   Y Y     Econometrician
Jordon Trapp     Y     Programme Assistant
Michael Pollitt     Y     Research Intern
Solène Dengler     Y     Policy Analyst
Edo Omic   Y       Research Analyst
Giulia Greco   Y       Research Fellow – Wellbeing Studies
Alanna Putze Y         Senior Programme Director
Dalibor Rohac Y         Deputy Director of Economic Studies
Edo Omić Y         Research Assistant
Hemal Shah Y         Programme Coordinator for Economic Studies
Serena Masino Y         Research Assistant
Stefania Lovo Y         Econometrician

Board of Trustees

Name 2015 2017 2019 Description
Alan McCormick Y Y Y Chairman of the Legatum Institute Foundation
Richard Briance Y Y Y  
Rob Vickers Y Y Y  
Toby Baxendale Y Y Y  
Ellen Agler   Y Y  
Philippa Stroud   Y Y Chief Executive Officer
Richard Parry     Y  
Jane Siebels Y Y    
Simon Brocklebank-Fowler   Y    

Fellows & Global Fellows

Name 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Carol Graham   Y Y Y Y Y
David Abulafia   Y Y Y Y Y
Min Zin   Y Y Y Y Y
Nicholas Boys Smith   Y Y Y Y Y
Reuben Abraham Y   Y Y Y Y
Modupe Ladipo     Y Y Y Y
Nataliya Gumenyuk     Y Y Y Y
Nicholas Crafts     Y Y Y Y
Simon Mayall     Y Y Y Y
Tim Montgomerie     Y Y Y Y
U. Srinivasa Rangan     Y Y Y Y
Will Hunter     Y Y Y Y
Alden Abbott       Y Y Y
Andrea Hossó       Y Y Y
Maurice Glasman       Y Y Y
Nick Chance       Y Y Y
Graeme Leach         Y Y
James Mumford         Y Y
Sir Oliver Letwin           Y
Sharan Tabari   Y Y Y Y  
Victoria Bateman   Y Y Y Y  
Anton Shekhovtsov     Y Y Y  
Gisela Stuart         Y  
Oliver Letwin         Y  
Dag Detter   Y Y      
Vanessa Arelle   Y Y      
Konstantin von Eggert   Y        
Lettice Rutashobya   Y        
Bonnie Greer Y          
Dorothy Kosinski Y          


January 6, 2021

The Legatum Institute’s parent organisation, the Legatum Group, was announced as a leading investor in GB News, a new British television network chaired by Andrew Neil, chairman of The Spectator. GB News describes its intended audience as the “vast number of British people who feel underserved and unheard,” according to The Guardian. [19] [20]

July 2018

DeSmog mapped the connections between the Legatum Institute and Shanker Singham, and how this provides privileged access to the UK government in order to push a hard Brexit. Singham’s links to climate science denial are also exposed, as Singham was at one point a policy expert for the US-based Heartland Institute, which has received at least $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [11]

Singham’s connection to the organisations that occupy 55 Tufton Street continues, with Singham meeting Michael Gove in June 2017[11]

Singham’s colleague at the Legatum Institute, Alden Abbott, also has ties to US climate science denial through authoring a report for the Heartland Institute, and his former position as Deputy Director of the Heritage Foundation‘s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. [12], [13]

The Heritage Foundation sits at the heart of transatlantic network of lobbyists pushing climate science denial and for a hard Brexit, which DeSmog has previously mapped.[11]

February 2018

Representatives from the Legatum Institute were present at “shadow trade talks” with other organisations known for spreading misinformation about Climate Change. The talks were hosted by IFT and intended to mobilise the groups to lobby the British government for their ideal USUK post-Brexit trade deal. [14]

December 2017

Environment Secretary Michael Gove met with the Legatum Institute. This continues the connections DeSmog UK has previously mapped between Brexit lobbyists and climate science denial/free market organisations, since Gove is on the advisory board for The New Culture Forum, one of the organisations of 55 Tufton Street[11]

Along with Boris Johnson and Michael Hintze, who funds the UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), Gove was a member of Liam Fox’s doomed transatlantic think tank, The Atlantic Bridge. The group formed a special partnership with another free-market lobby group, but the group was dissolved in September 2011 following a Charity Commission investigation that found it was engaged in overtly political work, which was against its rules. [15]

Related Organisations

Legatum Institute Foundation| Company number 07430903 |Charity number 1140719

The Legatum Institute Foundation, separate from the Dubai-based group The Legatum Foundation, was set up in 2010 order to advance “education in the charitable sense rather than simply promoting a particular point of view.” The Financial Times reported the Legatum Foundation had “longstanding ties with key Conservative politicians.” [6]

In 2014, The Legatum Institute transferred activites to the Legatum Institute Foundation. [2]

The Legatum Foundation, based in Dubai, describes itself as the “development arm” of the Legatum Group, “allocating capital at the bottom of the Prosperity Ladder to projects, people and ideas that create sustainable prosperity.” [16], [17]

The Legatum Institute website notes that “Our building is provided and our core costs are covered by the generosity of our founders, through the Legatum Foundation.” [18]

An “oversees company” entitled the Legatum Institute has also been listed at Companies House, with a shared UK address at 11 Charles Street. Notably, the group was terminated due to insolvency on June 2018. It is unclear its precise relationship with The Legatum Institute foundation.

Contact & Address

11 Charles Street, [10]
London, W1J 5DW United Kingdom 
T: +44 (0) 207 148 5400 (Switchboard) 
E: [email protected]
W3W: range.wisdom.ideas

Social Media


  1. Londoner’s Diary: Love’s Legatum Lost in battle over Brexit,” Evening Standard, December 8, 2016. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/GE92d

  2. THE LEGATUM INSTITUTE FOUNDATION Trustees’ Annual Report and financial statements” (PDF), Legatum Institute Foundation, December 31, 2014. Retrieved from charitycommission.gov.uk. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  3. Baroness Philippa Stroud Appointed as CEO of the Legatum Institute,” Legatum Institute, September 12, 2016. Archived January 24, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/dCSZw

  4. Decision: Legatum Institute Foundation: case report,Gov.uk, June 1, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/82YEM

  5. Leadership,” Legatum Institute. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/GGVvj

  6. Cynthia O’Murchu and Henry Mance. “Legatum: the think-tank at intellectual heart of ‘hard’ Brexit,Financial Times, December 4, 2017. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/v537E

  7. Matthew Elliott says farewell to the Legatum Institute,” Legatum Institute, May 11, 2018. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/qdLZh

  8. Leadership,” Legatum Institute. Archived September 15, 2017. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/naogM

  9. Fighting Climate Change with Freedom,” Legatum Institute, December 9, 2015. Archived January 23, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/T8B82

  10. How We Are Funded,” Legatum Institute. Archived January 23, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Eacrb

  11. Mat Hope and Richard Collett-White. “Mapped: How Brexit Lobbyists Give Climate Science Deniers Privileged Access to the UK Government,” DeSmog, July 3, 2018.

  12. FDA Reform: A Prescription for More and Better Drugs and Medical Devices” (PDF), Legal Memorandum (The Heritage Foundation publication) No. 182 (June 20 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog

  13. Alden Abbott,” Heritage Foundation. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/5cO9s

  14. Mat Hope. “Trans-Atlantic Network of Hard Brexit Climate Science Deniers Plotting ‘Shadow’ USUK Trade Talks,” DeSmog, February 18, 2018.

  15. Graham Readfearn. “Michael Hintze revealed as funder of Lord Lawson’s climate thinktank,” The Guardian, March 27, 2012. Archived January 8, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/uKrgA

  16. Our Offices,” Legatum Foundation. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/74oiT

  17. Who We Are,” Legatum Foundation. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/hslo8

  18. SUPPORT US,” Legatum Institute. Archived January 24, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/84ds6

  19. Investors give go-ahead for GB News,” Legatum, January 6, 2021. Archived January 11, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/4zOor 

  20. Jim Waterson. “Andrew Neil launches 24-hour news network to rival BBC and Sky,” The Guardian, September 25, 2020. Archived January 11, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/oMYgw 


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