How it all began...
Using information in the public domain, including Lighthouse's own digital presence, we attempt to form a narrative of how Lighthouse International Group, its projects and companies, came to be...
The Early Days
Lighthouse aligns with the work of Mormon writer, speaker and educator Stephen Covey, particularly his 1989 self-help book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
Lighthouse loves this book, and they’re not alone: it’s a million-dollar best-seller and is one of the main tools of FranklinCovey, a well-known leadership advice service dealing in online courses and digital live-training sessions with offices around the world.
Perhaps Lighthouse leader and CEO Paul Waugh is one of the many who bought a ticket to Covey’s popular talks back in the day, or purchased a life-changing FranklinCovey course? Perhaps he even met Covey before his death in 2012, shook his hand at a meet-and-greet? Maybe he was impressed with FranklinCovey’s success, or just shared Covey’s spiritual beliefs – who knows?
One thing seems certain: Waugh was inspired, and so, from a small rented terraced house in Hampshire, UK, he created his very own mentoring programme in 2003.
He called it FranklinWaugh, replacing Covey’s name with his own.
It’s fair to say that FranklinWaugh was a sort of prototype for the Lighthouse we know today. With future Lighthouser Warren Vaughan joining in 2004, it had a basic website, sprinkled with inspirational quotes and vague content. It offered things like a free “Life and Career Congruency Assessment”, membership to something called “The Leadership Academy”, mentoring with a “senior executive” and the opportunity to become an “associate” – all elements used by Lighthouse today.
Waugh states that he moved from South Africa to his native UK in 1998. Lighthouse state that he is the “founder of numerous businesses” in South Africa with “vast experience”.
We haven’t yet found evidence of what could reasonably be described as "vast experience" – if you know of any, do let us know.
It’s unclear how successful this initial version of FranklinWaugh was, but five years later in 2008, Waugh formally incorporated FranklinWaugh Ltd with a group of south London friends. The new team was a mix of British and South African nationals in their early 30s.
By then, Waugh was in his mid 40s, and so possibly played a more parental role.
The FranklinWaugh team included:
Bernard De Waal Fourie
Tess Ince / ie Theresa Nash (né Ince)
with Paul Waugh as the major shareholder of FranklinWaugh.
and Jai Singh joining in 2009.
Given this big age gap, it’s hard to explain this group’s coming-together under Waugh. Perhaps members of this young south London group had undertaken Waugh’s “Congruency Assessment”? Perhaps he was their mentor?
At the same time, Waugh and the gang also set up The Entrepreneurial Business Exchange Network, (later renamed The Entrepreneurial Club, AKA The Eclub) which they declared a Community Interest Company.
On its site, Lighthouse talks about the huge efforts in setting up these past projects, especially a “three-year study” (also referred to a “two-year study”) with “3000 businesses” before incorporating these two companies – a huge undertaking.
We haven’t yet found evidence of this study, or the 3000 companies that took part – if you know of any, do let us know.
Both companies offered Lighthouse-style services, including mentoring. They appear to have been promoted via team members hitting the streets of London to hand out leaflets, sometimes at the ticket barriers on the Underground, with each charged with building their own mentee list.
They actually thrust a leaflet into the hand of a business blogger who posted about it here. He was less than impressed with FranklinWaugh, it has to be said.
As The Eclub was declared a Community Interest Company this might explain why its accounts were dormant, with no recorded remuneration for any of the gang.
But in 2011, then director Tess Nash stated that the company had “continued to expand” with “strong continued support” and that year held “many regular talks and seminars” and “individually tailored support sessions”.
In fact, Lighthouse say by 2011 The Eclub had more than 2000 members.
We haven’t yet found evidence of these events or the organisation’s 2000+ members – if you know of any, do let us know.
Fast forward to 2012, the year the Olympics came to London, and the city was full of promise, positivity, and financial opportunity. Waugh was now registered as living with Tess & Chris Nash and Shaun Cooper in another small, rented terraced house – this time overlooking Canary Wharf, London’s then new business quarter.
2012 was a big year for Waugh and the FranklinWaugh directors. They decided to dissolve the company and incorporate another… and called it Lighthouse International Group Holdings Trading LLP (aka L.I.G.H.T.), and say it also launched operations in South Africa that same year.
The Original Lighthouse Launch Team
*Tess Nash resigned the following year in 2013 and apparently is no longer part of the company, or other Lighthouse projects.
And by 2013, this was official team:
The Lighthouse International Group team in 2013
Paul Waugh, Chairman & CEO
Jules Gainfort, Foundation Ambassador
Warren Vaughan, Senior Director
Christopher Nash, Senior Director
Shaun Cooper, Senior Director
Adam Wallis, Senior Associate Partner, and possibly Paul Waugh's PA
Sukh Singh, Associate Partner
Jai Singh, Associate Partner
Tom Hasker, Associate Partner
Kris Deichler, Associate Partner
James Mills, Associate Partner
Werner Le Roux, Associate Partner
Some of these original “Associate Partners” seem to have left, while others have been recruited since.
20-22 Wenlock Road & 145-157 St John Street
CompaniesMadeSimple.com is an easy, one-stop shop to form a company online in the UK. Prices start at £13.99, and the Privacy Package is great if you want to: "protect your home address from the public domain whilst also giving a great impression to your contacts." Register with CompaniesMadeSimple.com and your new "office address" could become 20-22 Wenlock Road or 145-157 St John Street, both in a prestigious London neighbourhoods.
There is absolutely nothing at all untoward about the company who runs this service, it's not illegal to effectively have a posh PO Box, and VOs (virtual offices) are a great idea, but... it can be open to abuse, and running a complicated network of linked companies and virtual offices – including Wenlock Road – can sometimes be part of illegal phantom company networks, as detailed over on Gov.uk
Before moving to Wenlock Road, Lighthouse's The Eclub was registered to 145-157 St John Street. Again, there is nothing untoward about registering a business to these addresses, but it seems all Lighthouse companies and projects are registered to Wenlock Road, with The Eclub once registered to 145-157 St John Street before moving to the Wenlock address. There is nothing registered to a bricks and mortar office, home address, or a solicitor, etc.
More company names
Introducing The Lighthouse Self Leadership Society, The Lighthouse Affluence Society, Legends.Report, @CelebratingCovey, and The Global Respondency
Around the same time Lighthouse was created, Waugh, Chris Nash and Tess Ince/Nash also incorporated another company called The Lighthouse Self Leadership Society (although, again, Tess resigned in 2013).
The Lighthouse gang started using The Lighthouse Affluence Society as a name, posting and promoting in forums and free listings sites, Facebook and more, advertising sessions on mentoring, coaching, and suchlike. Their Twitter and Facebook presence included @CelebratingCovey, and the website Legends.Report also made an appearance, and eventually The Respondency (aka The Global Respondency).
In 2021, Lighthouse continues to be run remotely, registered to Wenlock Road. It's a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) rather than a Limited company, meaning it's made up of members under a private agreement, has less liabilities, and enjoys greater confidentiality, including less visibility over its financial returns. Its members work remotely, sometimes living together in groups in temporary accommodations.
Be The Change Project & Academy
In 2012, one of the senior Lighthouse members, and possible PA to Paul Waugh, Adam Wallis, set up a blog, Creating Affluence (which is largely defunct and hasn't been updated in many years). On it, Adam stated – fairly effusively – there was a particular person he'd benefitted from; our guess is Paul Waugh...
"Over the last 6 years I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to be receiving advanced-level senior executive mentorship coaching from a global social entrepreneur."
"I cannot thank my mentor enough for his dedicated and commitment to me, throughout the successes and celebrations... THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE IN MY LIFE PAUL!"
Adam Wallis, Senior Associate, Lighthouse International Group, via CreatingAffluence.Wordpress.com
And in 2020, Adam Wallis set up a "management consultancy" called Be The Change Project, registering it as a Community Interest Company, and Be The Change Academy. It seemed to have the same mentorship structure, "gap analysis" tests, courses, and academy idea, as well as the exact same charitable causes, as Lighthouse.
Although it was officially unconnected with Lighthouse, in Jan 2021, Wallis moved the registered office from a residential address in Eastbourne, UK, to join Lighthouse over at Wenlock Road, London.
But a few months later, after the launch of this site, itself inspired by the questioning and concerned posts about Lighthouse International Group that had started to appear on chat sites like Reddit, Adam Wallis suddenly closed down Be The Change and shut down many of its channels, including its Instagram account.
IMPORTANT: For balance, Lighthouse make no secret of some of their past companies, and the similar projects of their teams, they mention FranklinWaugh, The Eclub, and Legends.Report – and especially Lighthouse Kidz. It’s not illegal or particularly odd to open and close businesses, to use doormat office addresses – or to run different companies from a number of rented residential houses.