Legal & General

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Legal & General Group Plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSELGEN
Industry Financial services
Founded 1836
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people
John Stewart (Chairman)
Nigel Wilson (CEO)
Products Life, Pensions and Investments
Revenue £51,517 million (2014)[1]
£1,413 million (2014)[1]
£992 million (2014)[1]

Legal & General Group Plc, commonly known as Legal & General, is a British multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its products include life insurance, general insurance, pensions and investments.[1] It has operations in the United Kingdom, Egypt, France, Germany, the Gulf, India, the Netherlands and the United States.[1]

Legal & General is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


1836 to 2000[edit]

Legal & General was formed by Sergeant John Adams and five other lawyers in June 1836 in a Chancery Lane coffee shop.[2] Originally called the New Law Life Assurance Society, the society was restricted to those in the legal profession. The name was changed to Legal & General Life Assurance Society to reflect that policies were available to the general public but with share ownership restricted to those in the legal profession. The group expanded in the UK and soon began to acquire overseas life assurance companies, purchasing a pensions business from the Metropolitan Life Assurance Company of New York in the 1930s.[2] In 1956 Life business was set up in Australia.

The society became a wholly owned division of Legal & General Group plc in the 1970s.[3] It bought Government Employee Life Insurance from GEICO in the USA (renamed Banner Life) and the Dutch branch of Unlike Assurance Group and also set up business in France during the 1980s.[3]

The former Legal & General logo

The previous Legal & General logo incorporates the image of the Temple Bar (which is still used in the logo of the company's social and athletic committee), and the founding date. The umbrella logo used today was introduced by former Chief Press Officer Gordon Macdonald in June 1984. Between 1991 and 1994, Legal and General sponsored the Regional Weather Forecasts for the ITV network and in 1999, Legal & General announced plans to merge its business with National Westminster Bank to form the first 'bancassurance' company in the UK.[4] However, poor market reception to the deal saw the Royal Bank of Scotland bid for the National Westminster, and the merger deal collapsed.

2000 to present[edit]

The company sold the Legal & General Bank and Legal & General Mortgage Services to Northern Rock in 2003[5] and sold its stake in Gresham Insurance, its joint venture with Barclays Bank, to Barclays in 2005.[6]

In 2008 Legal & General bought Suffolk Life, a provider of Self Invested Pension products,[7] and also outsourced its IT development areas to TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).[8]

The company formed a joint venture with two Indian public sector banks, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank to launch IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company in India in 2009[9] and outsourced its remaining IT areas to IBM in October 2010.[10]

In January 2015, a unit of Legal & General collaborated with Dutch pension fund manager PGGM acquired the Bishopsgate Long-term Property Fund Unit Trust for a fee of £370 million.[11]


Today the company continues to offer a wide range of products and, in addition to its direct sales service and brokerage agreements with numerous tied agents and independent financial advisers.

Estate Agency – Xperience[edit]

Legal & General owns one of the largest estate agency/lettings agency franchise businesses in the United Kingdom through its LGFL (Legal & General Franchising Ltd) subsidiary. The businesses are not marketed under the Legal & General brand, but instead operate under a number of regional brands, operating over 110 branches nationwide.

LGFL Franchisees trade under one of four different brand names depending on the area in which they operate. Each brand name has been trading for at least 17 years and in some cases over 150. The brands are: CJ Hole; Ellis & Co; Parkers; Whitegates and Michael Evison.

Since 2005 LGFL has operated under the name Xperience further separating the branding of operation from the main Legal & General brand.[12]

Senior management[edit]

Dr Nigel Wilson (the previous CFO) became Group Chief Executive on 30 June 2012.[13] He succeeded Tim Breedon, who had been CEO since 1 January 2006 and who was paid an annual salary of £770,000.[14] Dr Nigel Wilson became CFO in September 2009.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Preliminary Results 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Legal & General milestones 1800–1950
  3. ^ a b Legal & General milestones 1960–1980
  4. ^ Buerkle, Tom (7 September 1999). "'Bankassurance' comes to Britain". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Why Northern Rock is music to people's ears". 26 April 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Sale of 90% stake in Gresham Insurance". 31 March 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "L&G agrees £62m deal for Suffolk Life". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Essen, Yvette (26 November 2007). "L&G could outsource IT functions". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Andhra Bank, BoB, L&G Group in insurance JV". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Karl Flinders email (22 June 2010). "Legal & General outsources IT infrastructure to IBM". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  11. ^ L&G, Dutch fund PGGM buy property fund unit trust for $562 mln. Reuters, 6 January 2015
  12. ^ "Xperience". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Dr Nigel Wilson: Directorate Change (Group Chief Executive)". Legal & General Media Centre. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Tim Breedon: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 

External links[edit]