Mark Sainsbury

About Mark Sainsbury

Mark’s working life is divided between his work in hospitality and his philanthropy.

Having trained as a chef in London and the Loire Valley, Mark opened his first restaurant, Moro in London in 1997 and has been closely involved in the London hospitality sector ever since. As well as having a portfolio of direct investments in other food and drink businesses, Mark co-owns and runs a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant group, the Zetter Group. In 2010, he co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a not for profit membership organisation advising and supporting over 6000 UK food businesses towards more progressive and sustainable business practices. Mark is also a Director and investor behind the soon to open Conduit Club in London, a members’ club aimed at social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, creatives and those who seek to make the world a better place.

Since 1995, Mark has endowed and run the Mark Leonard Trust (MLT), a grant giving charitable trust, one of the 17 Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (SFCTs) which all share an office in Victoria, London. MLT has three main areas of focus to its giving: climate change, youth justice and sustainable food. After 16 years of traditional philanthropy MLT changed the model of its giving seven years ago to what it describes as a ‘portfolio’ approach. It forms a closer, long-term (-7-10 years) relationship with its beneficiary charities , provides them with core funding, support for their organisational development and seeks to network them with other portfolio members as well as the wider SFCT community.

Mark has also taken a pioneering role within the SFCTs in his work in aligning the endowments that finance their giving with the missions behind that giving. This has taken two forms; helping move an ever-increasing portion of the SFCT’s endowments into impact investments and taking a leading role in the Divest Invest movement. In 2016 he founded, with his sister Sarah Butler-Sloss, Europeans for Divest Invest, which aims to challenge the licence the fossil fuel companies still enjoy to pursue their “business as usual” agendas. It encourages other charities, faith groups and educational institutions to consider their positions on the ownership of fossil fuels and whether to invest in the fossil fuel is, in effect, to “own” climate change.

For over 10 years, Mark has been a trustee of the Ashden Awards for sustainable energy and also sits as a trustee on the board of his parents’ grant giving trust, The Linbury Trust.

Mark is married to Zivi and they have three daughters who are a constant source of inspiration to Mark in his business and philanthropic roles.


Plenary – Sustainable Finance & Impact Investment

05 Jun 2018

Read session notes here. Session Description There is an increasingly larger role for institutional investors to play in addressing some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges by moving beyond ESG screening and deploying capital via sustainable finance and…Read More

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