Legal & General
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: LGEN|
FTSE 100 Component
|Industry||Financial Services |
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Sir John Kingman (Chairman)|
Nigel Wilson (CEO)
|Products||Life, Pensions and Investments|
|Revenue||£43,490 million (2017)|
|£2,055 million (2017)|
|£1,902 million (2017)|
|AUM||£983.3 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||£7,919 million (2017)|
Legal & General Group plc, commonly known as Legal & General, is a British multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its products and services include life insurance, general insurance, pensions and investment management. It has operations in the United Kingdom and United States, with investment management businesses in the Gulf, Europe and Asia.
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. It is also the second largest institutional investment management firm in Europe (after BlackRock).
1836 to 2000
Legal & General was formed by Sergeant John Adams and five other lawyers in June 1836 in a Chancery Lane coffee shop. 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.
The society became a wholly owned division of Legal & General Group plc in the 1970s. 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.
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. 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. In 2015, it was announced that the headquarters would close "potentially before 2025". In fact, after a period of uncertainty for the staff at Kingswood, it was announced that the site would shut much earlier, in 2018.
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.
2000 to present
The company sold the Legal & General Bank and Legal & General Mortgage Services to Northern Rock in 2003 and sold its stake in Gresham Insurance, its joint venture with Barclays Bank, to Barclays in 2005.
In 2008 Legal & General bought Suffolk Life, a provider of Self Invested Pension products, sold Suffolk Life in 2016 and also outsourced its IT development areas to TCS (Tata Consultancy Services). 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 and outsourced some IT areas to IBM in October 2010. In 2013 the company bought Lucida Life, a pensions buyout company, for £151 million.
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. In May 2016 Legal & General Assurance in the UK bought the £3 billion UK annuity portfolio of Aegon.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Ron Peet, a socially-conscious actuary, was CEO of Legal & General, having previously headed its Australian operation. Peet helped the campaign for Thalidomide children, Legal & General then owning a large bloc of shares (3.5 million) in Distillers.
Other senior management include Jeff Davies (Group Chief Financial Officer), Mark Zinkula (CEO of Legal & General Investment Management, the investment management arm of the firm) and Kerrigan Procter, (CEO of the group’s capital investment business). Together with Nigel Wilson they form Legal & General's executive board.
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