Legal and General  

L&G merges retail insurance and retirement arms

L&G merges retail insurance and retirement arms

Legal & General has merged two of its five divisions to deliver insurance and retirement products to its retail clients through one business.

Effective from 2022, Bernie Hickman, chief executive of Legal & General Insurance, will oversee both L&G Retail Retirement (LGRR) and L&G Insurance (LGI) as CEO.

The group said in a statement published on Friday (October 15): “As both businesses serve retail clients, having a single interface for retail clients, whether with insurance or pension savings products, will enable us to better satisfy our customers’ and distribution partners’ service expectations.”

L&G said its services have grown since the pandemic, so merging the two businesses would allow it “to work better and more seamlessly.

“This will position us for continued growth in our retail and workplace businesses,” it said.

Hickman has spent the last 23 years of his career at L&G.

The executive co-founded the group’s home finance arm, heading up its launch into the lifetime mortgage market - which has seen the provider unveil its later life mortgage portal for advisers in July.

He also headed up L&G’s individual retirement arms, as well as its retail protection arm.

For the past five years, Hickman has been CEO of LGI. The group said his tenure has seen him combine “a tech and data led strategy with a relentless focus on execution” to transform its insurance businesses and establish a portfolio of “fast-growing” fintech businesses.

FTAdviser understands the latest developments in L&G’s internal structure are at an early stage. The firm is yet to decide on organisational names and specific structures.

Alongside an organisational restructure, L&G has also appointed PwC’s former financial services head, Andrew Kail, as CEO of L&G Institutional Retirement, the arm which focuses on pension risk transfer.

Kail takes over from Laura Mason, who has moved to become CEO of L&G Capital.

L&G said its five-part organisational structure has served it well. “Much of our success is driven by the close co-operation between these divisions, and by having a strong senior management team that we switch between roles to encourage synergies and grow bandwidth.”

The business merger is in line with this strategy, which intends to create more synergy across the business.

Across its five businesses, soon to be four, L&G said in August its "diversified business model" meant it was able "to weather the volatility of 2020" and was well positioned to deliver profitable growth again in the first half of 2021.

L&G Insurance saw profits climb 52 per cent to £134m in the first half of 2021 despite Covid-19 claims totalling £79m by mid-year.

In the UK, LGI's retail protection gross premiums rose to £714m, compared to £680m this time last year. Its UK group protection gross premiums rose by a similar amount, climbing from £245m in H1 2020 to £274m in H1 2021.