Legatum

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Legatum
TypePrivate
FoundedDecember 2006
FounderChristopher Chandler
Headquarters,
Key people
Websitewww.legatum.com

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 transitions.[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 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.[13]

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.[14]

Investments[edit]

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 establishment. 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 consultancy advice to companies in Asia and Africa, and which it subsequently sold back to its owner, the Aavishkaar Group, in 2017.[19]

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 targeted at serving the poor in the developing world.[20] In 2021, Legatum invested in GB News, a new UK TV channel.[21]

Also in 2021, Legatum invested in Mobile Premier League, an esports and gaming platform.[22][23]

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.[24]

Development[edit]

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 and populations in society.[25] In 2015, Legatum established the Luminos Fund, a private donor philanthropic fund designed to develop and scale initiatives which promote education by helping out-of-school children get back to school.[26][27][28] The 2020 expansion of the Speed School Programme to Ethiopia was funded by the Foundation.[29] During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, Luminos worked with Syrian refugees to offer educational support and therapeutic interventions for school-aged children.[30] By February 2020, the Luminos Fund had provided education for 132,611 children in Ethiopia, Lebanon and Liberia, whose access had been limited due to conflict, discrimination or poverty.[31]

Legatum founded the END Fund in 2012 to co-ordinate and support programmes to treat neglected tropical diseases, which affect over 1.5 billion people globally.[32][33][34] Legatum first started funding NTD work in 2006, after Legatum partner Alan McCormick visited Professor Alan Fenwick (Professor of Tropical Parasitology) at Imperial College London, who in turn had founded the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative in 2002. It has since led to Legatum investing over $10m in efforts to eliminate NTDs.[35][36] Legatum has also funded more than one thousand community-based health initiatives that are solving common concerns in the developing world, like blindness and agricultural harm.[37]

In 2013, in partnership with Humanity United and Walk Free, Legatum established a $100 million fund called the Freedom Fund.[38] 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.[34][39][40][41] Prior to the founding of the Fund, Legatum sponsored a 2012 information-gathering trip for non-profit organizations in Nepal and India to learn more about the human trafficking and slave-trade industries there.[42]

Entrepreneurship[edit]

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.[43][44] Fellowships are granted to students who show entrepreneurial ambition and an interest in making a lasting and positive economic impact on low-income countries.[45][46]

Through 2017, the Center had distributed over $7 million to 213 fellows and launched enterprises across 40 countries.[47] 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][48]

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.[49][50] 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.[51]

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.[52]

In 2013, Legatum launched the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) in partnership with Luke Johnson to promote and support entrepreneurs in the UK.[53]

Policy[edit]

Legatum Foundation is a sponsor of the Legatum Institute, an independent non-partisan policy, advisory and advocacy organization based in London.[54]

References[edit]

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  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.
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  11. ^ Nixon, Simon (9 November 2017). "Britain must seize the opportunities Brexit offers — or remain in the EU" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
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  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.
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  19. ^ Roy, Debjyoti (27 July 2017). "Exclusive: Aavishkaar buys back Intellecap stake from Legatum Ventures". News Corp. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
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  29. ^ "Research projects : Centre for International Education". www.sussex.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
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  32. ^ "The END Fund". Devex. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  33. ^ Barasa, Louise Makau (19 August 2015). "Philanthropy: the search for the best way to give". Geneva Global. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  34. ^ a b Cheney, Catherine (18 April 2017). "Strides in progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases as global partners meet". Devex. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
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  38. ^ Foundation, Clinton (17 July 2018). "13 Photos From the Front Lines of Impact". Medium. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
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  40. ^ Lindsay, Drew (6 July 2015). "Philanthropy's Bid to End Slavery in the Modern Age". Philanthropy. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
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  42. ^ "NGOs from India and Nepal make an exposure visit to red light areas". Nepal24Hours.com - Integration Through Media ....!. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
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  44. ^ Katz, Rob (8 October 2008). "Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship Launches". NextBillion. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  45. ^ "Legatum Fellowship". Legatum. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  46. ^ "School aims to seed the world with business sense". the Guardian. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  47. ^ "Legatum Fellows build on 10-year legacy of impact". MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  48. ^ Springer, Jon. "MIT's Legatum Center Unleashes Entrepreneurs, Alters Thinking About Developing Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  49. ^ "2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship". AWP Network. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  50. ^ Mag, GBAF. "MIT Legatum Center and Mastercard Foundation Select 10 African Startups as Finalists of the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  51. ^ "2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship". OFA. 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
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  53. ^ "Centre for Entrepreneurs". elitebusinessmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  54. ^ "About LI". Legatum Institute. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.

External links[edit]