Legatum Institute

Legatum Institute


The Legatum Institute (LI) was founded in 2007 by the Legatum Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dubai-based investment firm 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


Alastair MasserYYYDirector Of Communications
Nathan GamesterYYYChief Operating Officer
Philippa StroudYYYChief Executive Officer
Stephen BrienYYYDirector Of Policy
Terrie MccannYYYHead Of Business Development
James SprouleYYSenior Fellow
Shelley HartlandYYDirector Of Operations
Georgiana BristolYCorporate Membership Director
Cristina OdoneYYYDirector of the Centre for Cultural Transformation
Shanker SinghamYYDirector of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies
Danny KrugerYSenior Fellow
Matthew ElliottYSenior Fellow
Anne ApplebaumYYYYYYDirector of the Transitions Forum
Alanna PutzeYYYYSenior Programme Director
Hywel WilliamsYYYYSenior Adviser
Sian HansenYYYExecutive Director
Christian CarylYYManaging Editor, Democracy Lab
Peter PomerantsevYYSenior Fellow
Alexandra MousavizadehYDirector of the Prosperity Index
James O’ShaughnessyYSenior Fellow
Tim MontgomerieYSenior Fellow
Graeme LeachYSenior Fellow
Shazia EjazYActing Director of Communications
Jeffrey GedminYYPresident and CEO
Julian KnappYYDirector of Communications
Zachary CourserYSenior Programme Director and Fellow
Nick MartinYYChief Operating Officer
William InbodenYYYSenior Vice President
Jean GeranYYSenior Fellow
Ryan StreeterYYSenior Fellow
Michael MaganYSenior Vice President for Management and External Relations

Research & Programmes

Chloe de PreneufYYYYYProgramme Coordinator for Transitions Forum
Harriet MaltbyYYYHead of Policy Research, Prosperity Index
Fadil AlirizaYYVisiting Senior Fellow
Mary Schutzer-WeissmannYYProgramme Coordinator
Alistair ShawcrossYResearch Intern
Emily ReddingYResearch Consultant
Fei XueYResearch Assistant
Giulia GemelliYResearch Intern
Ilya ZaslavskiyYVisiting Senior Fellow
Laura BragielYResearch Intern
Paul Caruana GaliziaYHead of Quantitative Research, Prosperity Index
Nathan GamesterYYYYChief Operating Officer
Joana AlfaiateYYResearch Analyst
Alex BleasdaleYProgramme Assistant
Anthony DemetriouYResearch Intern
Anton ShekhovtsovYVisiting Senior Fellow
Graeme LeachYSenior Fellow
Stephen ClarkeYProgramme Manager
Christian CarylYYYManaging Editor, Democracy Lab
Novella BottiniYYEconometrician
Jordon TrappYProgramme Assistant
Michael PollittYResearch Intern
Solène DenglerYPolicy Analyst
Edo OmicYResearch Analyst
Giulia GrecoYResearch Fellow – Wellbeing Studies
Alanna PutzeYSenior Programme Director
Dalibor RohacYDeputy Director of Economic Studies
Edo OmićYResearch Assistant
Hemal ShahYProgramme Coordinator for Economic Studies
Serena MasinoYResearch Assistant
Stefania LovoYEconometrician

Board of Trustees

Alan McCormickYYYChairman of the Legatum Institute Foundation
Richard BrianceYYY
Rob VickersYYY
Toby BaxendaleYYY
Ellen AglerYY
Philippa StroudYYChief Executive Officer
Richard ParryY
Jane SiebelsYY
Simon Brocklebank-FowlerY

Fellows & Global Fellows

Carol GrahamYYYYY
David AbulafiaYYYYY
Nicholas Boys SmithYYYYY
Reuben AbrahamYYYYY
Modupe LadipoYYYY
Nataliya GumenyukYYYY
Nicholas CraftsYYYY
Simon MayallYYYY
Tim MontgomerieYYYY
U. Srinivasa RanganYYYY
Will HunterYYYY
Alden AbbottYYY
Andrea HossóYYY
Maurice GlasmanYYY
Nick ChanceYYY
Graeme LeachYY
James MumfordYY
Sir Oliver LetwinY
Sharan TabariYYYY
Victoria BatemanYYYY
Anton ShekhovtsovYYY
Gisela StuartY
Oliver LetwinY
Dag DetterYY
Vanessa ArelleYY
Konstantin von EggertY
Lettice RutashobyaY
Bonnie GreerY
Dorothy KosinskiY


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]

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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