Legal & General

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Legal & General Group plc
Company typePublic limited company
FTSE 100 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Asset management
Founded1836; 188 years ago (1836)
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
ProductsInvestments, Lifetime Mortgages, Pensions, Annuities
RevenueDecrease £(89,294) million (2022)[1]
Increase £2,730 million (2022)[1]
Increase £2,290 million (2022)[1]
AUMDecrease £1,196 billion (2022)[1]
Total assetsDecrease £513,276 million (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease £12,139 million (2022)[1]

Legal & General Group plc, commonly known as Legal & General, is a British multinational financial services and asset management company headquartered in London, England. Its products and services include investment management, lifetime mortgages (a form of equity release), pensions, annuities, and life assurance. As of January 2020, it no longer provides general insurance following the sale of Legal & General Insurance to Allianz.[2] It has operations in the United Kingdom and United States, with investment management businesses in the Gulf, Europe and Asia.[1]

Legal & General is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), the asset management arm of L&G, is the 10th largest investment management firm in the world by AUM.[3] It is also the second largest institutional investment management firm in Europe (after BlackRock).[4]


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.[5] 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.[5]

The society became a wholly owned division of Legal & General Group plc in the 1970s.[6] Legal & General Group, formed Legal & General America as a holding company in 1981, and bought Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) and its NY affiliate. The GELICO name changed to Banner in 1983. William Penn was purchased by Legal & General Group Plc as a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Life Insurance Company in 1989. It bought the Dutch branch of Unlike Assurance Group and also set up business in France during the 1980s.[6]

Following the trend in the United Kingdom at the time of financial institutions entering the estate agency sector, Legal & General purchased Whitegates Estate Agency from Provident Financial Group plc for £19 million[7] in December 1989.[8]

The former Legal & General logo
Entrance to Legal & General's former offices, Furze Hill, Kingswood

In the 1940s the main office of Legal & General was moved from Temple Bar House in the City of London to a remodelled former girls' school in leafy Kingswood, Surrey, save for some top management functions which remained in London. The girls' school (St. Monica's), which formed the basis for the site, was attended by the novelist Vera Brittain, mother of the politician Shirley Williams.[9] The Kingswood site, which included sports fields, a park, a large and luxurious swimming pool, a canteen and a simulacrum of an English pub, among other facilities, was expanded in the 1950s and again in the 1980s.[10] In 2015, it was announced that the headquarters would close "potentially before 2025".[11][12] In fact, after a period of uncertainty for the staff at Kingswood,[13] it was announced that the site would shut much earlier, in 2018.[14]

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, which never came to fruition, to merge its business with National Westminster Bank to form the first 'bancassurance' company in the UK.[15]

2000 to present[edit]

The company sold the Legal & General Bank and Legal & General Mortgage Services to Northern Rock in 2003[16] and sold its stake in Gresham Insurance, its joint venture with Barclays Bank, to Barclays in 2005.[17]

In 2008 Legal & General bought Suffolk Life, a provider of Self Invested Pension products,[18] sold Suffolk Life in 2016 and also outsourced its IT development areas to TCS (Tata Consultancy Services).[19] 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[20] and outsourced some IT areas to IBM in October 2010.[21] In 2013 the company bought Lucida Life, a pensions buyout company, for £151 million.[22]

In 2014, there was a "shock" announcement that Legal & General was leaving as one of the Association of British Insurers (ABI)'s around 300 corporate members, due to ABI's "decision to transfer its investment business to the Investment Management Association."[23] In the same year, the group disposed of its estate agency business, Xperience, which comprised 89 offices and 75 franchisees, trading as CJ Hole, Ellis and Co, Parkers and Whitegates,[24] to Martin & Co for £6 million.[25]

In 2014, the company formed Legal & General Reinsurance, a Bermudian-based reinsurance company. Legal & General Re completed its maiden external transaction in the Dutch market in cooperation with ASR in December 2015.[26] In May 2016 Legal & General Assurance in the UK bought the £3 billion UK annuity portfolio of Aegon.[27]

In 2019 following earlier speculation,[28][29] the company agreed the sale of its General Insurance division, Legal & General Insurance, to Allianz Insurance, the latter making a simultaneous purchase of the remaining 51% share of Liverpool Victoria General Insurance (LV=) of which it already owned 49%.[2] The acquisition took effect on 1 January 2020, at which time Legal & General Insurance's holding company was renamed Fairmead Insurance.[30] The existing policies will be merged into Allianz Insurance's subsidiary LV= under one expanded business. Legal & General's Birmingham office became an LV= site.[31]

Also in 2019, the company acquired a 13% investment in the electric vehicle charging point operator, Pod Point.[32]


The company offers a wide range of products and, in addition to its direct sales service and brokerage agreements with numerous tied agents and independent financial advisers.[33] It also owns Cala Homes.[34]

In 2015 Legal & General launched a modular homes operation, LGMH. Production of modular housing ceased in 2023 with the enterprise having incurred losses of £176m. [35]

Senior management[edit]

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Ron Peet (1925–2020), a socially-conscious actuary, was CEO of Legal & General, having previously headed its Australian operation.[36] Peet helped the campaign for Thalidomide children, Legal & General then owning a large bloc of shares (3.5 million) in Scottish drinks and pharmaceutical company Distillers.[37][38]

Sir David John Prosser (1944–2020) was the CEO from 1991 to 2005 and is credited with overseeing a period of significant growth in the business.[39] He was followed by Tim Breedon, who became CEO in January 2006.[40] After that Sir Nigel Wilson (the previous CFO) became group chief executive on 30 June 2012,[41] and was succeeded by António Simões in 2023.[42]


Coat of arms of Legal & General
19 February 1937
On a wreath of the colours a dragon rampant Vert the wings Argent edged and ribbed of the first charged with a cross Gules supporting a fasces in bend Proper.[43]
Azure a representation of Temple Bar Proper on a point in base Or a rose Gules barbed and seeded also Proper.
Pro Salute


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Preliminary Results 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Allianz completes purchase of LV= and Legal & General". Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  3. ^ Liam Kennedy (June 2016). "Top 400 Asset Managers 2016: Global assets now €56.3trn". IPE.
  4. ^ Jonathan Williams (June 2016). "BlackRock dominates as LGIM joins 10 largest managers". IPE.
  5. ^ a b "Legal & General milestones 1800–1950". Legal and General Group PLC. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Legal & General milestones 1960–1980". Legal and General Group PLC. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  7. ^ Provident Financial Group (1989). Annual Report 1989. p. 7.
  8. ^ Whitegates (Midlands) Limited (1989). Accounts for the Period Ended 24 November 1989. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth". Essential Surrey. 19 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  10. ^ General, Legal &. "Legal & General - Kingswood office". Archived from the original on 18 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Legal and General to leave Kingswood site". Surrey Mirror. Archived from the original on 18 September 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  12. ^ "'Hundreds' could lose jobs in Legal and General Kingswood closure". BBC News. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  13. ^ Chapple, James (8 September 2015). "Job 'numbers simply do not add up,' says Unite union". getsurrey. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  14. ^ "L&G delays Kingswood office closure amid strike plans -". Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  15. ^ Buerkle, Tom (7 September 1999). "'Bankassurance' comes to Britain". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Why Northern Rock is music to people's ears". 26 April 2005. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  17. ^ "Sale of 90% stake in Gresham Insurance". 31 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 July 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  18. ^ "L&G agrees £62m deal for Suffolk Life". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  19. ^ Essen, Yvette (26 November 2007). "L&G could outsource IT functions". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Andhra Bank, BoB, L&G Group in insurance JV". Business Standard India. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  21. ^ Karl Flinders email (22 June 2010). "Legal & General outsources IT infrastructure to IBM". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Legal & General acquires Lucida".
  23. ^ Hartley, Vicky (3 November 2014). "Legal & General Sells Estate Agency Arm". Mortgage Solutions. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  24. ^ Legal and General Group (2014). Annual Report and Accounts 2014. p. 198.
  25. ^ "L&G expands risk transfer business to mainland Europe with €200 deal". Professional Pensions. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Legal & General buys 3 billion pound UK annuity portfolio from Aegon". Reuters. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  27. ^ Kleinman, Mark (12 December 2018). "L&G plots £300m sale of home and contents insurance arm | Business News | Sky News". Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  28. ^ Kleinman, Mark (19 December 2018). "Direct Line plots £400m bid for Legal & General unit | Business News | Sky News". Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Fairmead Insurance". Companies House. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  30. ^ "About us". Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Legal & General buys 13% share in Pod Point". Energy Live News. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  32. ^ "Would you pay £500 for unbiased advice?". The Telegraph. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Legal & General snaps up remaining stake in Cala Homes". 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  34. ^ Kollewe, Julia (4 May 2023). "Legal & General halts new production at modular homes factory near Leeds". The Guardian.
  35. ^ "The Glasgow Herald - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  36. ^ Stephens, Trent; Brynner, Rock (1 April 2009). Dark Remedy: The Impact of Thalidomide And Its Revival As A Vital Medicine. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0786731121.
  37. ^ Evans, Harold (1 October 2009). My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times: An Autobiography. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9780748114719.
  38. ^ "Sir David Prosser". Times Newspaper. The Times. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Tim Breedon: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 18 August 2009.[dead link]
  40. ^ "Dr Nigel Wilson: Directorate Change (Group Chief Executive)". Legal & General Media Centre. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  41. ^ "António Simões joins Legal & General".
  42. ^ "Legal and General Assurance Society Ltd". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 18 March 2022.

External links[edit]