Legal and General  

Legal & General sells off with profits business

Legal & General sells off with profits business

Legal & General (L&G) is to sell its mature savings business to Swiss Re for £650m.

The business is being bought by the ReAssure division of Swiss Re, according to an announcement to the stock exchange this morning (6 December).

The business being sold comprises principally retail customers who hold traditional insurance based pensions, savings and investment products.  

It had assets of £33bn at the half year 2017 accounts, and included both unit-linked business and Legal & General's £21.4bn with profits fund.

With around one million customers, it has largely been closed to new business for some time.

This is the latest in a spree of asset sales from the company.

In April, it completed the sale of its Dutch division while in August 2016 it sold the Cofunds platform to Aegon.

Legal & General also divested itself of Irish, Egyptian and French businesses in 2015.

A spokesman for Legal & General said the motive for the spate of asset sales is the desire to focus on its core businesses.

In the stock exchange statement released this morning, the company stated it will now focus on three areas.

These areas are: “investing & annuities through Legal & General Retirement and Legal & General Capital. Investment management through LGIM; and insurance through Legal & General Insurance and General Insurance.”

Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, said: "This was a difficult decision as with profits savings has been a part of Legal & General's UK business for over 50 years. 

"However we have in Swiss Re a great partner, who will be an excellent steward of the business and its many customers and policyholders. 

"Selling mature savings is the right decision for us - another important, measured, step in growing our company and updating our products.

"It will drive further earnings growth by allowing us to focus on our successful market-leading businesses and to accelerate the scaling up of our growth businesses." 

david.thorpe@ft.com