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FoundedDecember 2006
FounderChristopher Chandler
Key people

Legatum Limited, also known as Legatum, is a private investment firm, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[1] Legatum is a partnership that uses its own funds to invest globally.[2][3][4] The firm also invests in activities to promote entrepreneurship and free enterprise as well as anti-slavery, health and education initiatives.[5][6][7][8][1]

History and business activities[edit]

Legatum (meaning "legacy" or "gift"[9]) is a private investment firm based in Dubai using only capital provided by members of the firm.[10] Legatum was founded in December 2006 in the United Arab Emirates by Christopher Chandler, who made his fortune in markets undergoing political disruption.[11] Previously, Chandler was the president of Sovereign Global, or Sovereign, which he co-founded with his brother Richard Chandler in 1986. Sovereign invested capital in companies located in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and in industries including telecommunications, electric utilities, steel, oil and gas, banking and oil refining. The Chandler brothers embarked on separate ventures following the de-merger of Sovereign in 2006. Christopher Chandler established Legatum the following December.[12] In 2015, Legatum transitioned to a partnership, consisting of Christopher Chandler, Mark Stoleson, Philip Vassiliou and Alan McCormick, providing a structure for the firm to continue operating beyond its founders.[13]

In 2012, Legatum purchased a building in the Dubai International Financial Centre for its global headquarters. The building was renamed Legatum Plaza, and the company moved into the building the following year.[14]


The firm's investment activities tend to focus on globally listed companies, markets in economic transition (such as Japan or China) or distressed situations.[15][16]

Legatum was one of the first foreign commercial investors to identify the need to provide critical equity capital to for-profit microfinance organizations in India, investing $25 million for a majority stake in SHARE Microfinance, India's leading microfinance institution.[17]

In 2006, the company co-founded an early charity crowdfunding platform, Razoo Global Corporation, based in Alexandria, VA. The platform has raised US$550 million in crowdfunding since its foundation. It announced a management buy-out of Legatum's holding in 2017.[18]

In 2007, Legatum purchased a significant minority stake in Intellecap, which provides business solutions to help support companies that are dedicated to social and environmental change.[19]

Also in 2008, Legatum and Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm founded by Pierre Omidyar, collaborated to co-invest a total of $40 million into Unitus Equity Fund II (now known as Elevar Equity). The fund is a commercial venture providing capital to businesses in the developing world targeted at serving the poor.[20]

Support to other entities and programs[edit]

As of 2014, Legatum had invested around US$80 million in 1,440 projects in 107 countries.[15] Legatum focuses on three core areas of philanthropic investment: development, entrepreneurship, and policy innovation.


Legatum Foundation is the development arm of Legatum and invests in community-based organizations and projects around the world to help the poorest and most marginalized people in society. In 2015, Legatum established the Luminos Fund, a private donor philanthropic fund designed to develop and scale initiatives which help out-of-school children get back to school.[21]

Legatum founded the END Fund in 2012 to co-ordinate and support programmes to treat neglected tropical diseases, which affects over 1.5 billion people globally.[22][23][24]

In 2013, in partnership with Humanity United and Walk Free, Legatum established a $100 million fund called the Freedom Fund. The aim of the fund is to help eradicate modern day slavery, an illegal industry that generates over $32 billion in profits every year around the world.[24][25][26]


In 2007, Legatum established The Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT with the aim to create a generation of business leaders in developing countries by providing them with the skills needed to succeed as entrepreneurs.[27][28] Fellowships are granted to students who show entrepreneurial ambition and an interest in making a lasting and positive economic impact on low-income countries.[29]

Legatum established the annual Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship program which recognizes and rewards business leaders who serve as role models to Africa's aspiring entrepreneurs.[30] The program has been in operation since 2007 and is now run by the African Leadership Network, with Legatum still involved as a lead sponsor.[31]

In 2008, Legatum partnered with Fortune magazine to announce the Legatum Fortune Technology Prize, a $1 million award intended to reward for-profit businesses who provide products and services to the needy through the use of technology.[32]

By 2014, the Center had launched over 20 enterprises across 40 countries. The Legatum fellows have pursued businesses that tackle social issues such as improving sanitation by converting waste products into fertilizer in Kenya, establishing plastic recycling businesses in Nigeria, and improving the apparel industry's conditions in Tanzania.[9]


Legatum Foundation is a sponsor of the Legatum Institute, an independent non-partisan policy, advisory and advocacy organization based in London.[33]


  1. ^ a b Khaleel, Zenifer (1 July 2011). "Legatum Foundation helping community-based organisations thrive". Gulf News. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  2. ^ McKechnie, Krysia (29 November 2017). "UAE firms help women back to work after childbirth". The National. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  3. ^ Smith Alexander, George (9 October 2007). "India offers opportunities for long-term investors". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  4. ^ Banerjee, Gargi (16 May 2007). "Dubai's Legatum invests Rs125 cr in Share Microfin, picks 51% stake". Live Mint. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  5. ^ Springer, Jon (26 February 2014). "MIT's Legatum Center Unleashes Entrepreneurs, Alters Thinking About Developing Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  6. ^ Prasad, ShiShir (21 May 2013). "Legatum CEO Mark Stoleson on Capital Inflows in India". Forbes India. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Everywhere in (supply) chains". The Economist. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  8. ^ Jack, Andrew (18 April 2017). "Philanthropy: the search for the best way to give". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b Springer, Jon (26 February 2014). "MIT's Legatum Center Unleashes Entrepreneurs, Alters Thinking About Developing Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ Smith Alexander, George (9 October 2007). "India offers opportunities for long-term investors". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  11. ^ Nixon, Simon (9 November 2017). "Britain must seize the opportunities Brexit offers — or remain in the EU" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  12. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (25 July 2015). "From Brainstorm: Our new $1 million prize, and more". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Legatum Limited". Dubai International Finance Centre. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  14. ^ Cronin, Sean (11 April 2012). "Legatum buys DIFC's Precinct Building 6". The National. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  15. ^ a b Falconer, Tim (28 January 2014). "Principles Before Profit: Q&A With Legatum Group CEO Mark Stoleson". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  16. ^ Clark, Andrew (21 May 2008). "School aims to seed the world with business sense". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  17. ^ Banerjee, Gargi (16 May 2007). "Dubai's Legatum invests Rs125 cr in Share Microfin, picks 51% stake". LiveMint. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Razoo Management, a Charity Crowdfunding site, buys out founder Legatum". Crowdfund Insider.
  19. ^ Roy, Debjyoti (27 July 2017). "Exclusive: Aavishkaar buys back Intellecap stake from Legatum Ventures". News Corp. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Legatum and Omidyar Network Invest $40 Million as Anchors of Unitus Equity Fund II, a Landmark Private Equity Fund Focused on the Poor - Omidyar Network". www.omidyar.com.
  21. ^ Jack, Andrew (18 April 2017). "Programs That Stay The Same, Fail The Same". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  22. ^ "The END Fund". Devex. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  23. ^ Barasa, Louise Makau (19 August 2015). "Philanthropy: the search for the best way to give". Geneva Global. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  24. ^ a b Cheney, Catherine (18 April 2017). "Strides in progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases as global partners meet". Devex. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  25. ^ "The Freedom Fund: Galvanizing Resources to End Slavery". Clinton Foundation. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  26. ^ Lindsay, Drew (6 July 2015). "Philanthropy's Bid to End Slavery in the Modern Age". Philanthropy. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  27. ^ Dugger, Celia W. (18 September 2007). "Dubai: M.I.T. Center for Developing Countries". New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  28. ^ Katz, Rob (8 October 2008). "Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship Launches". NextBillion. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  29. ^ "Legatum Fellowship". Legatum. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  30. ^ "2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship". AWP Network. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  31. ^ "2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship". OFA. 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  32. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (25 July 2015). "From Brainstorm: Our new $1 million prize, and more". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  33. ^ "About LI". Legatum Institute. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.

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