The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, one of the great entrepreneurs and philanthropists of the Victorian age. The Victorian businessman and entrepreneur William Hesketh Lever first brought his creativity and energy to the manufacture and marketing of Sunlight soap which was being sold in 134 countries only a decade after its launch. The name Sunlight Soap, comes from the town where the factory was build, Port Sunlight, on the Wirral.
On his death in 1925, Lord Leverhulme left a proportion of his interest in the company he had founded, Lever Brothers, in trust for specific beneficiaries: to include first certain trade charities and secondly the provision of “scholarships for the purposes of research and education”. The Leverhulme Trust was established. In the succeeding years, Lever Brothers became a cornerstone of Unilever, a major multinational company, created in 1930 by the merger of Lever Brothers with the Van den Bergh’s margarine company of the Netherlands. The Leverhulme Trust’s shareholding thus became part of Unilever plc
Since 1925 they have provided grants and scholarships for research and education; today, they are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80 million a year.
How is that £80million funded ?
£2,027,713 under investment management. That is £2.2 billion.
Today they own 5% of Unilever.
£37bn in value, The Leverhulme Trust have thus £1.850 billion in Unilever shares. That is a lot of Persil, Surf, Lipton, Carte D’or, Knorr, Marmite, Pot Noodle, Vaseline, Ben & Jerrys, Domestos, Cif, TRESemme, Cornetto, Colemans Mustard, PG Tips, Stork, VO5, Hellmans, Flora…..