Legal & General
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: LGEN
FTSE 100 Component
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Sir John Kingman (Chairman)
Nigel Wilson (CEO)
|Products||Life, Pensions and Investments|
|Revenue||£77,969 million (2016)|
|£1,867 million (2016)|
|£1,265 million (2016)|
|AUM||£894.2 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||£7,283 million (2016)|
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. 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.
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 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 Hannover Re in December 2015. Legal & General has expanded its operations in the last five years, taking over Lucida Life in 2013 and acquiring the £3 billion UK annuity portfolio of Aegon in 2016. Since 2014, the company has sought out better returns on its annuity and shareholder funds by committing to invest £15 billion in UK infrastructure projects such as urban regeneration, housing, clean energy and small business finance. This has involved the group partnering with many financial organisations, including the Dutch pension fund, PGGM and Pemberton Asset Management.
The company offers a wide range of products for individuals and corporate businesses. Its investment management is the UK’s largest investment manager of UK pension fund assets and has a growing US business, based in Chicago, Illinois. Legal & General’s core business focuses upon helping companies provide pension benefits for employees. As well as being one of the UK’s largest providers of auto-enrolled pensions, with over 2.2 million customers, the group also helps companies with defined benefit pension schemes meet their liabilities through investment strategies and even taking over the liability to pay company pensions.
Legal & General’s life insurance business is the UK’s largest, providing cover for both individuals and companies. The group is seeking to expand its life insurance businesses in the US and India.
Legal & General is planning to help provide solutions for the UK’s housing shortage through its investments in building new homes to buy and to rent. The company’s range of construction initiatives, includes establishing a pioneering high-tech modular housing factory in Yorkshire.
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 retirement business). Together with Nigel Wilson they form Legal & General's executive board.
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- "Andhra Bank, BoB, L&G Group in insurance JV". Business-standard.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- Karl Flinders email (22 June 2010). "Legal & General outsources IT infrastructure to IBM". Computerweekly.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "L&G expands risk transfer business to mainland Europe with €200 deal". Professional Pensions. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
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- Stephens, Trent; Brynner, Rock (2009-04-01). Dark Remedy: The Impact Of Thalidomide And Its Revival As A Vital Medicine. Basic Books. ISBN 0786731125.
- Evans, Harold (2009-10-01). My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times: An Autobiography. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9780748114719.
- "Dr Nigel Wilson: Directorate Change (Group Chief Executive)". Legal & General Media Centre. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Tim Breedon: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Legal & General executive salaries hit £560k". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
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