Legal and General (L&G) has announced it is partnering with Sir Michael Marmot to address inequality in the UK.
Marmot is the director of the University College of London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity (IHE) and professor of epidemiology, and is primarily known for the Marmot Review into health inequalities in England.
Through the partnership, the insurer will set up the new Legal & General IHE Places Fund for UK public authorities, which will be a multi-million pound charitable fund to examine the health inequalities among different regions and support the “levelling up” agenda across the country.
As well as the fund, L&G is also preparing the new Legal & General IHE Network for UK public authorities and businesses to support idea creation and the sharing of best practice to tackle inequality.
On the partnership, Marmot said: “Our Marmot Review 10 Years On report drew attention to the unacceptably large, and increasing, health inequalities in England. The question was not a lack of knowledge of what to do to improve health equity, but how to do it.
“In light of the pandemic, which amplified social inequalities, our Build Back Fairer report argued that we must seize the opportunity to build a fairer, healthier society.”
He added: “For the first time, with this welcome initiative from Legal and General, we have the opportunity to bring business together with local government and the voluntary and community sector to make a real difference to the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and to health equity. It represents a significant step forward.”
Nigel Wilson, CEO of L&G, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Sir Michael Marmot to bring forward this ground-breaking research and multi-million pound funding partnership. Reducing health inequalities is part of levelling up: literally a matter of life and death.
“Businesses and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investors are proving key to reducing carbon emissions. ESG’s “E” is working, but the “S” is further behind – the impact of corporate activity on population health and its associated costs is not currently adequately addressed.”
He added: “Post-Covid, there is a strong case to consider health and health inequality as crucial to the “S” of ESG – or even to explicitly call out health within a new “ESHG” framework.”