Singham, one of the world’s leading trade and competition lawyers, former head of market access at Squire Sanders, Managing Director of the Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities project at Babson Global, and current CEO of Competere, will be responsible for working on new ideas linked to the Legatum Institute’s economic policy programme. The work will build on the Institute’s “Morality of Capitalism” programmes, and also examine how countries can become more productive, how free trade and open, competitive markets can help people of all incomes increase their prosperity. The programme will additionally look at the future of banking, and how countries can encourage entrepreneurship.

Singham is ideally placed to carry out this work. He has previously worked with governments and companies around the world on market opening and transition issues, including on the early privatisations of the UK electricity market, the former Soviet Union, the accession of Poland and Hungary to the EU, the transitions in Latin America after the apertura and the WTO accessions of a number of countries, including China and Russia. 

In 1997, Singham founded the Roundtable on Trade and Competition as a way of promoting the notion of free trade, competitive markets and property rights protection around the world, having learned the lessons of the openings in the former Soviet sphere, Latin America and China and India's re-insertion into the global economy.

Singham, both a UK and US citizen, is a cleared advisor to the United States government on trade issues, and is a Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network. He has also been a senior trade and economics adviser to a number of political candidates including Democratic Governors Lawton Chiles and Buddy McKay of Florida as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

Shanker Singham, said:

“Free trade was supposed to open entire new markets to goods and services from other countries. It was supposed to fuel competition, lower prices and increase choice for consumers. But free trade does not work if the market is rigged against competition. That is why people across the world do not believe that free trade and capitalism is working for them. My work will highlight where markets are not functioning as they should, and what decision-makers can do from a policy and regulatory perspective."

Sian Hansen, Executive Director of the Legatum Institute said:

"We are delighted that someone of Shanker’s experience and understanding of international trade and competition has decided to join us. We strongly believe that open markets and free trade can deliver numerous benefits to people across the world. However, critical to this will be the ability to identify challenges—including within markets themselves—to entrepreneurship."


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About the Legatum Institute

The Legatum Institute is an international think tank and educational charity focused on promoting prosperity. We do this by researching our core themes of revitalising capitalism and democracy. The Legatum Prosperity Index™, our signature publication, ranks 142 countries in terms of wealth and wellbeing. For more information please go to and