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London Launches $160 Million Campaign

An artist's rendering of the new London Business School

An artist’s rendering of the new London Business School

London Business School today (Oct. 3) kicked off an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise $160 million over the next five years. Today’s announcement at the Waldorf Astoria in New York follows the launch of the campaign in Europe last week when the school revealed it had received its largest gift ever–$40 million–from the Idan and Batia Ofer Family Foundation.

For London, it’s first comprehensive effort to raise money for the school. While such campaigns are typical in the U.S., they are extremely rare in Europe or Asia where there is less a history of fundraising for educational institutions. While highly ambitious for the London Business School, this is a comparatively modest campaign by U.S. standards. Harvard Business School, with an endowment of about $2 billion, is currently in the midst of raising $850 million to $1 billion in its latest fundraising effort.

The London Business School campaign will fund the transformation of Old Marylebone Town Hall in London into a new educational facility, attract world class faculty, double its scholarships offering, invest in the latest technology, and develop an unrestricted fund in support of the School’s strategic priorities.

The $40 million pledge from the Ofer family led the school to name the new town hall building ‘The Sammy Ofer Centre’ in honor of Idan’s late father, Sammy Ofer, a shipping magnate and philanthropist.

The building will become an integral part of London Business School’s campus, creating a triangle of educational facilities between Sussex Place, the Taunton Centre and Old Marylebone Town Hall.  The Town Hall, five minutes’ walk from the School’s Sussex Place and Taunton Place buildings, will transform the School’s future, providing a dynamic space where people can come together to test, share and apply new ideas and ways of thinking.

The plans, agreed late last year, involve the construction of an additional new three-story building complete with six new lecture theaters, a library, 35 seminar rooms, offices, staff and faculty suites, student lounge, broadcast facilities and a new alumni centre. Work is expected to start in early 2014.

Idan Ofer, whose Quantum Pacific Group spans energy, international shipping and technology, is an alumnus and long term supporter of the School, its values and its ethos. Mr Ofer said in a statement: “I have enjoyed a long association with the School and believe that it offers something uniquely valuable in the world of business education, combining strong fundamental business and management education with an emphasis on the business community being part of the solution for a better society.”

Sir Andrew Likierman, dean of London Business School, said in a statement: “This wonderfully generous gift will enable us to convert this iconic London landmark for use as a state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility.  It will provide us with the space we need and enable us to achieve our vision of having a profound impact on the way the world does business.”