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The Economist Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Economist Newspaper Limited
The Economist Group
Company typePrivate limited company
Founded1843; 181 years ago (1843) in London
FounderJames Wilson
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Area served
Key people
ProductsNewspapers, magazines, books, films, podcasts
ServicesMarket intelligence, conferences
RevenueIncrease £376.8 million (2023)
Decrease £42.2 million (2023)
Decrease £31.2 million (2023)
Total assetsIncrease £187.5 million (2023)
Total equityNegative increase £(76.1) million (2023)
Number of employees
1,641 (2023)
DivisionsEconomist Intelligence Unit, EuroFinance
Footnotes / references
Financials as of 31 March 2023.[1]

The Economist Newspaper Limited (commonly The Economist Group) is a media company headquartered in London, England. It is best known as publisher of The Economist newspaper and its sister lifestyle magazine, 1843. The Economist Group specialises in international business and world affairs information. Its principal activities are in print and digital media as well as in conferences and market intelligence.


After the death of its founder James Wilson in 1860, The Economist was held in testamentary trust for his six daughters and their dependents. The eldest, Mrs Bagehot, whose husband Walter was editor at the time of Wilson's death, maintained a close personal interest in the paper until her death in 1921. Subsequently, the Wilson trustees were concerned whether surviving beneficiaries would keep touch with the paper's direction, as further deaths formed subsidiary trusts over time. So in 1928 the Wilson Trust decided to sell the paper, whilst creating a structure intended to maintain its reputation for 'independent judgment and unfettered criticism'. A non-controlling 50% went to the Financial Times, and the other half to an influential group of individual shareholders. A new board of independent trustees was created, with rights both to veto the transfer of voting shares and to choose or remove editors-in-chief, who in turn would have sole responsibility for the paper's policy.[2]

Ownership of the 50% shareholding passed to Pearson plc when they bought The Financial Times Limited (FT) in 1957. Later, however, when Pearson plc was negotiating the sale of FT, The Economist's independent trustees vetoed 'complicated attempts at a deal'.[3] Finally, in August 2015, as part of their sale of the FT to Nikkei, Inc., Pearson sold their share in The Economist.[4]

The Agnelli family's Exor paid £287 million to raise their stake from 4.7% to 43.4%, while The Economist paid £182 million for the balance of 5.04 million shares which will be distributed to current shareholders.[5] Aside from the Agnelli family, smaller shareholders in the company include Cadbury, Rothschild (21%), Schroder, Layton and other family interests as well as a number of staff and former staff shareholders.[5][6]


The origins of The Economist Group date back to the foundation of The Economist: A Political, Commercial, Agricultural, & Free-Trade Journal by James Wilson in 1843.[7]

In 1946, the Economist Intelligence Unit began providing business intelligence to both The Economist newspaper and external clients.[7] In the same year, the Economist bookshop was established as a 50:50 joint venture with the London School of Economics.[7]

Economist Conferences was established as a division of Economist Intelligence Unit in 1956 to offer government roundtables.[7]

In 1995, The Economist Group acquired the Journal of Commerce, a US-based provider of information for the shipping and transportation industries.[7] In the same year the Group launched European Voice, the first pan-European Union weekly newspaper.[7]

In July 2004, The Economist Group launched an upmarket lifestyle magazine called Intelligent Life, an annual publication. This magazine was redesigned as a quarterly in September 2007, and became a bi-monthly publication in August 2011. In March 2016, the magazine was renamed 1843.

Launched in 2010, the Ideas People Channel is a vertical online advertising network of around 50 sites defined by the mindset of the audience. The sites recruited for the network were identified by the readers of The Economist as their favourite online destinations for topics on business, globalisation, innovation and culture. The channel competes in the lower-cost, high-volume network advertising market, a category not previously served by The Economist online.[8] Also recently launched is Economist Education, providing e-learning courses.

In March 2012, The Economist Group acquired the London-based marketing communications agency TVC Group for an undisclosed sum.[9]

In April 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit expanded in Asia with the acquisition of Clearstate, a market intelligence firm specialising in customised strategic advisory and primary research in the healthcare and life sciences domains.[7]

In July 2015, Canback & Company, a strategy consulting firm operating in more than 70 countries was acquired.[10] It is now known as EIU Canback.


The Economist Group is headquartered in London, England, and has offices worldwide, including in Brussels, Belgium, Frankfurt, Germany, Geneva, Switzerland, Paris, France, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Johannesburg, South Africa, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Tokyo, Japan, India, New York City and Washington, D.C. in the United States.[11]

The Economist Group's principal activities are newspapers, magazines, conferences and market intelligence. Publications and services delivered under The Economist brand include The Economist newspaper, The Economist online, Economist Intelligence Unit, Economist Conferences, Economist Corporate Network, The World In series and a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine, 1843. The group's other brands include CQ Roll Call (aimed at decision-makers on Capitol Hill), EuroFinance, a cash and treasury management event business, and a digital media agency, TVC. European Voice (Brussels), formerly a sister publication of CQ Roll Call, was sold to the French company Selectcom in 2013.

Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network is a members-only service within The Economist Group providing global and regional business intelligence briefings, presentations and advice to its subscribers.[12] The Corporate Network relies on the "information, insight, and interaction" provided by regional experts in its parent organization.[13] 81% of its customers are business executives at the director or senior management levels. It has offices in Dubai, Johannesburg, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.[14]

Corporate affairs


The current members of the board of directors of The Economist Group are: Rupert Pennant-Rea (Chairman), Zanny Minton Beddoes (editor-in-chief of The Economist), Lady Suzanne Heywood, Brent Hoberman, David Bell, John Elkann, Alex Karp, Sir Simon Robertson, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Chris Stibbs and Baroness Jowell, Mustafa Suleyman.[15]

Former board members include: Andrew Rashbass, Rona Fairhead, Philip Mengel[15] and Eric Schmidt (of Alphabet, parent company of Google). The current trustees of the Group are: Virginia Bottomley, Gus O'Donnell, Tim Clark and Bryan Sanderson.[16]

Financial data

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Group turnover (in £M) 248 266 313 320 347 359 343 328 324 331 353 367 333 320 310 346 377
Group operating profit (in £M) 36 44 56 58 63 63 64 55 59 61 54 47 31 53 42 46 42



  1. ^ a b "Annual report 2023" (PDF). The Economist Group. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2023. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  2. ^ "The Change of Ownership in the "Economist" of London". Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Vol. 127, no. 3292. 28 July 1928. p. 468. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  3. ^ Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew. "Hands-off owner hands over FT after 58 years". Financial Times. The Financial Times Limited. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2020. with editorial independence protected by a four-person trust — another factor that complicated past attempts at a deal. The issue was taken off the table on Thursday when the stake was excluded from the Nikkei deal.
  4. ^ Sweney, Mark (12 August 2015). "Pearson sells Economist Group stake for £469m". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Archived from the original on 15 August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b Karl West (15 August 2015). "The Economist becomes a family affair". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 August 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015. Pearson, the education and publishing giant that has held a non-controlling 50% stake since 1928, is selling the holding for £469m. The deal will make Italy's Agnelli family, founders of the Fiat car empire, the largest shareholder
  6. ^ Spence, Alex (11 August 2015). "Agnellis, Rothschilds close in on Economist". Politico. Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Our history". The Economist Group. Archived from the original on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  8. ^ Moses, Lucia "Economist Launches Online Ad Net" Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Adweek, 27 October 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  9. ^ "The Economist Group acquires TVC Group in move to create content". PR Week. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  10. ^ "The Economist Intelligence Unit Acquires Canback & Company, a Boston-Based Predictive Analytics Consulting Firm". 22 July 2015. Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Locations | Economist Group". Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  12. ^ Michelle Teo (15 April 2013). "Brighter outlook for Asia in 2013, says Economist Corporate Network's Wood". The Edge (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2017 – via The Edge (Singapore).
  13. ^ "About Economist Intelligence Corporate Network". Economist Intelligence Corporate Network. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Get in touch with Economist Corporate Network". Economist Corporate Network. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Directors". The Economist Group. Archived from the original on 28 April 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Trustees". The Economist Group. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 May 2024, at 05:54
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