Who we are and what we believe
180 years of improving lives
We first started trading in 1836, which means for 180 years we’ve helped people protect against unforeseen circumstances in their lives and save for a better and happier financial future. At the end of 2015 we provided insurance cover or looked after the individual savings for more than 15 million people worldwide, managing the investments of around 3,000 institutional clients. We have over £746 billion in assets under management, being responsible for the savings and investments of individuals, their families, pension schemes and financial institutions. Our large scale gives us an added responsibility to use our economic expertise and investment strength and take a position of leadership in broader society.
Customers come first
Our fundamental company purpose is to help people achieve financial resilience with the protection that insurance and savings bring, helping them build a secure and rewarding future.
We’re committed to be there for our customers throughout their lives, aiming to provide products and services that give them outstanding value for money. We want to be accessible to everyone, whatever their age or wealth as our aim is to give people real financial independence.
By serving our customers’ needs, we can build financial success for the Legal & General group. Our customers always come first, but there are three other core groups of stakeholders who we want to benefit from the success of our business:
Our shareholders and investors
We’re owned by our shareholders so it’s important we give them a good return on their investments. Many institutional shareholders invest in our shares to provide investment returns on behalf of pension schemes, providing for many millions of people.
We employ around 9,000 people in the UK and around the world and seek to build an ever closer engagement with them, listening to their views and understanding how they contribute towards our success.
Our communities and wider society
We aim to deliver real value to our communities, not only by helping people build secure financial futures, but by investing in the towns and cities we live in. We feel we need to help the neediest in our communities through our programmes of working with NGOs.
The complexity of our business means that there are other groups that we engage closely with in order to create financial resilience for our customers:
Our business partners and corporate clients
We work with the majority of the UK’s largest companies in all sorts of ways, for example, we provide:
- Pension and protection schemes for their employees
- Financial products and services for their customers
- Services for our own businesses covering functions such as IT, office services, shareholder services and creative services.
The companies we invest in
We invest in other companies’ shares, bonds and real assets to generate investment returns for our institutional and retail customers and our customer and shareholder funds.
Governments and regulators
We work with the government and regulators to help build positive solutions to many of society’s major financial issues. Our policy work benefits wider society as well as our customers and shareholders.
Non-government Organisations (NGOs), including charities
We work with NGOs to extend the benefits of our social responsibility campaigns beyond our own customers to the most vulnerable people in society. At the same time our people learn from each NGOs vast specialist experience, with both parties sharing experiences for mutual benefit.
What we believe in
Our culture is based around a number of core beliefs which influence our behaviour in everything we do. These are embedded into our board’s and our employees’ thinking, so that our strategy and actions reflect our understanding of these fundamental beliefs.
Delivering financial resilience
Our corporate goal is to help people achieve lifetime financial independence through personal ownership of insurance and savings products.
Improving social mobility and equality of opportunities
We develop products and services which are accessible to and meet the needs of a very wide range of differing social groups. We have positioned our direct investments in housing and urban regeneration to improve people’s quality of life across wide age groups, social classes and geographical locations.
Trust, transparency and ethical business behaviour
We demand the highest standards of ethical behaviour from our board, employees and all our stakeholders. We work to build trust with our customers and act in a transparent way towards all our stakeholders, being one of the founding members of the ‘Responsible 100’ network.
We recognise that we need to work harder to make our company more inclusive and develop greater tolerance towards all people, whatever their background.
Helping vulnerable customers
Our vulnerable customer committee helps ensure that our products and the service we provide meets the needs of people with vulnerabilities, such as the elderly, people with disabilities and the recently bereaved.
Creating a low carbon future
We’re committed to reducing our impact in environmental and climate risk. We have set ourselves low carbon targets and have made clean energy a key part of our direct investment strategy.
Our people in all our UK and international businesses are committed to supporting their communities through volunteering and fundraising. In this way we can reach out to some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Responsibility in investment
The scale of our business and our strength in index funds means we invest in most sectors and most large companies. While we cannot necessarily select those companies we invest in using criteria based solely upon ethical behaviour, we seek to influence boards to act in an ethical and responsible way, focusing on all aspects of environmental, social and governance (ESG).
Living our beliefs
Our purpose is to help our customers achieve financial security while being economically and socially useful. Our success in meeting this prime goal also enables us to reward shareholders, help our communities and invest a growing part of our overall policyholder and shareholder funds into direct investments, which help all parts of society. Our strategic actions are influenced by five growth drivers, which make sure what we do is based upon trends which affect people throughout the world.
- The effect of ageing populations on our ability to provide retirement finances
- The need for welfare reform to help people build financial resilience
- The need to create real assets to help our communities thrive
- The globalisation of investment markets, affecting people’s finances across the globe
- The growth of digital solutions which help improve access to financial services
Doing the right thing
We’re convinced that corporate and social responsibility should be integrated into the ‘lifeblood’ of companies, affecting everything they do and every relationship they have whether with customers, with suppliers, with governments or the whole of society. We want to see a positive future for all.
We've a legal duty to help over 10 million people in the UK who rely on us for insurance, savings and investments. We also have a responsibility which covers many more people across society who benefit from our investments and are touched by our campaigns. We do this is the UK, the Netherlands, The United States and in India.
We work with people from the third sector, primarily by sharing expertise. This means that we help our charity partners understand more about the financial risks that consumers face in health, housing and providing retirement income. In return, our partners help us understand the key realities that people face in their daily lives. We’ve described this in more detail in the sections on our campaigns below. Here are just a few examples where our partners have improved our knowledge of key issues:
Housing. We work with Shelter to help us understand the real pressures faced by people who are renting or struggling to get on the housing ladder and how the UK’s housing crisis directly affects homelessness.
Income in retirement. Age UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Elderly Accommodation Counsel help us understand the difficulties many older people face in their daily lives.
Health. We support charities such as Healthtalk and Clasp to help our employees better understand the pain and suffering associated with coming to terms major diseases so that our Insurance team can give a more compassionate level of service to our customers and their families.
Provide 90% of our customers with the ability to transact online with us in the retail business.