Our history

The Legatum Institute is a London-based think-tank with a global vision: to see all people lifted out of poverty. We believe passionately in the infinite value of every individual, and in the power of ideas to transform lives, creating the pathways from poverty to prosperity.

Our story

The Legatum Institute was created in 2007 to provide the ideas to help make this vision a reality. For more than a decade, our experts have analysed what impacts the wellbeing of individuals, communities and nations around the world. Our research and events programme has explored some of the defining issues of our age, from harnessing African entrepreneurialism to how we support nations transitioning from autocracy. Our analysis of these and other issues has shaped our belief in how we can best create the pathways from poverty to prosperity: by fostering opening economies, inclusive societies and empowered people. This belief is informed by the findings of our annual Legatum Prosperity Index, which measures how economic and social wellbeing is evolving around the world. First published in 2007, the Index has become a tool for leaders – and for those seeking to hold them to account – to develop an agenda for transformation.

A think-tank dedicated to promoting global prosperity was the vision of our founders, the Legatum Group, a purpose-driven business partnership with a mission to generate and allocate the capital and ideas that help people live more prosperous lives. The golden thread that runs throughout Legatum’s businesses is a belief that every individual has infinite value and potential, and that true prosperity is the realisation of that potential. During more than three decades of experience of investing in many of the world’s emerging nations, the Group’s partners witnessed many – but not all – of these nations flourish, creating an environment of stability and opportunity for their people. These remarkable stories highlighted the inherent potential of all peoples and nations, but also of the need for the right ideas, values and leaders to deliver lasting prosperity. They also led the partners to examine what conditions are required for individuals, communities and nations to begin their journey out of poverty – to create the pathway to prosperity.

Since becoming CEO in 2016, Philippa Stroud has focused the work of the Institute on illuminating these pathways, using her extensive experience of fighting poverty to help identify the ideas and initiatives that can help all nations succeed. Today, the Institute’s research programmes examine what is contributing to global poverty, its impact on vulnerable people, and what we need to do to address it. From reimagining the role of development aid, adopting a compassionate approach to the refugee crisis, to creating a new measure for UK poverty, the Legatum Institute is working to tackle the major challenges of our generation.