Our history


Recovery and infrastructure developments


The US became increasingly important to the group’s future. In 2017, we increased US assets to $189 billion, expanded our US pension risk transfer business and made progress on our strategy to develop our US Insurance business through digital capabilities.

We showed our commitment to helping our communities with activities aimed at overcoming the stigma of mental health, with support of ‘World Mental Health Day’, ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ and the ‘Not a Red Card’ campaign.


We played our part in helping to solve the UK’s housing crisis with new build-to-rent developments in Bristol, Salford and Walthamstow.


Our lifetime mortgage business tripled its sales, advancing over £600 million to help elderly release the equity in their homes to boost their retirement finances.

A woman holding glasses of wine


We jointly announced a £15 billion regeneration scheme.

Our development with English Cities fund in Canning Town

Our development with English Cities fund in Canning Town

We entered the lifetime mortgage market by acquiring New Life Home Finance limited, to help people fund retirement through releasing money from their homes.


Our total worldwide assets reached more than $1 trillion (£709 billion).

We secured the UK’s largest pension buy-in and buyout schemes through ICI and TRW, increasing the security of over £4 billion of pensions.

A man on the phone in an office


We acquired 46.5% of UK house builder, CALA Homes.

View from one of CALA Homes’ developments in London

View from one of CALA Homes’ developments in London

We invested in rebuilding the Royal Liverpool University hospital and in Methodist Care homes.


We produced our ‘deadline to the breadline’ report showing that people have on average only 14 days savings if a breadwinner has to stop working. We also launched ‘Skyman’, a digital app aimed to highlight the importance of life insurance in a fun way.

Deadline to the breadline report

We welcomed our first customers saving for retirement in the government’s new auto-enrolment scheme, with major schemes for Boots, Asda and the Co-op.

People clapping


A first £ billion bulk annuity deal was completed with Turner and Newall pension scheme to ensure the company’s pension scheme can continue to pay pensions to its members.


We paid out over £30 million of household insurance weather-related claims in one month.

Our IndiaFirst joint venture was launched, selling 130,000 policies in its first year of operation.


Financial crisis and growth through partnerships


Depth of financial crisis: our dividend was cut and our share price fell to below 25p.


Our partnership with Nationwide Building Society was launched to offer customers life insurance and savings plans.


Our market leading ‘Mortgage Club’ launched to help borrowers find good value mortgage deals. Ten years later we were arranging over £40 billion of new mortgages each year in the UK

A man and a woman in a kitchen with boxes


We were awarded ‘e-commerce provider of the year’ and ‘overall e-commerce company of the year’ in the life and pensions category.


We launched a £768 million Rights Issue to finance the group’s new business growth.


We entered into a partnership with Barclays Bank. We’ve recently celebrated our 14th year of protecting Barclays’ customers.

Assets under management exceeded £100 billion.


We launched online term assurance and the first UK paperless life assurance application system for both consumers and IFAs.


Early days of the internet


First company to provide ‘stakeholder pension guarantee’ giving customers low charges in advance of stakeholder pension launch in 2001.


Legal & General Australia is sold.


We launched an award-winning website.

An iPad with the Legal & General website

Helping customers plan their finances online


First company to enter into a joint venture with a building society, the Woolwich Building Society, to provide household insurance cover.


Our assets under management were over £82 billion.


International expansion





We were a founding member of the newly established FTSE 100 index.


We entered the European market.

We bought two life insurance companies in the US: Banner Life and William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York. Now over a million people in the US own our life insurance policies.


Investment management business launched


We are listed on the London Stock Exchange on 2 July.

London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange



Legal & General Investments established. Later to become Legal & General investment management and manage assets for pension funds, institutional and private clients.


Our assets exceeded £2.5 billion.

1900s - 1960s

Diversification and growth. Legal & General in the two World Wars


Our assets were valued at £1billion by end of the decade.


We established our life business in Australia.


We were forced to relocate offices during the war. We finally settled at a former school in Kingswood, Surrey. We soon outgrew the school and built an office in Kingswood housing over 3,000 people.

An old picture of a building




We entered the US market through the acquisition of the pensions business of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York.


We lifted the restriction that our customers (society members) had to be from the legal profession. We’ve now over 10 million people that rely on us for their financial security.


We began to offer fire and accident insurance to meet the new popularity of car and plane travel.

1914 to 1918

We paid a significantly higher number of claims in the First World War because of war casualties. This was worsened by the influenza pandemic of 1918.

Our assets were valued at £4 million, making us the second largest insurance company in Great Britain doing only ‘ordinary life business’.


Early years. First policies and infrastructure developments


We opened our first office outside London, in Manchester. We now have offices in places such as Cardiff, Chicago, Hove, Kingswood and Birmingham


We authorised £60,000 worth of credit to the Regent Canal Company.


We made our first property developments, investing heavily in the development of Birkenhead.


We loaned £20,000 to the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway in an early example of direct infrastructure investments.


Thomas Smith, our first policy holder died. We paid out a claim for £1,000 even though at that time we had only received around £177 in premiums. (In 2014 we paid £680 million in death claims, receiving £3 billion in insurance premiums.)


Market capitalisation of £1million.



Six London lawyers founded Legal & General.

We issued our first policy for a solicitor called Thomas Smith.

First policy document

First policy document