16 Jan 2017
Legal & General appoints Chris Knight as Managing Director or L&G Retirement, Retail Customer Division, as sales hit £1bn in 2016
Legal & General has today announced the appointment of Chris Knight, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement, Retail Customer Division (LGRR).
He will start his new role on 1 March 2017. Sales of individual annuities and lifetime mortgages hit £1bn in the Retail Customer division in 2016, as lifetime mortgage sales trebled, and individual annuity sales were up 15% on 2015. The division now manages almost £20bn in assets for its 500,000 individual annuity customers.
Chris Knight will grow Retirement Retail Customer Division in the UK, as more retirees decide to access their housing wealth to provide income, and as auto-enrolment drives growth in defined contribution pensions and retirement pot size. He will also target annuity back book deals, and look to internationalise the business, with the US market as the key focus.
Chris Knight, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement, Retail Customer Division said: “I am very excited to be taking on the challenge of further developing our retail retirement business. Legal & General Home Finance has the potential to become a major force in the UK Mortgage market, expanding the range of our borrowing-in-retirement propositions. In the era of Pension Freedoms, individual annuities are growing strongly again and there are further front-book and back-book opportunities in the UK.”
Kerrigan Procter, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement added: “Legal & General Retirement has made strong progress again in 2016. We more than doubled total retirement sales in 2016, and have successfully implemented a transformed capital and financial business model for the division that ensures we can sustain this progress in a Solvency II world. As Legal & General Retirement CFO, Chris played a leading part in this success and I look forward to working with him in his new role of Managing Director of Legal & General Retirement, Retail Customer Division.”
Legal & General Home Finance has made an exceptionally strong entry into the Lifetime Mortgage market since May 2015, writing £620m (£201m, FY 2015) of loans in 2016 alone. It now has over 10,000 customers and over £800m of loans outstanding. The market is expected to grow from £2.2bn of annual lending in 2016 to over £10bn per annum in 2025.
Legal & General wrote £377m (£327m, FY 2015) of individual annuity new business in 2016 and is set to grow further in 2017. In 2016 we completed the purchase of a back book of £3bn of individual annuities from Aegon and put in place an arrangement for Legal & General to provide annuities to their customers going forward. We estimate there is over £100bn of similar back-books amongst UK insurers.
Chris Knight has been with Legal & General since 2009, latterly as CFO of Legal & General Retirement. Chris is a qualified actuary with a first class degree in Economics from Cambridge University, and has extensive experience in the UK and global insurance and pensions markets. Chris replaced Bernie Hickman, who became CEO of Legal & General Insurance, at the end of last year.
Notes to Editors
Legal & General Group Plc
- Established in 1836, Legal & General is a leading provider of insurance, savings and investment management products in the UK. The Group has a market capitalisation of £14.8bn (as at 13 January 2017) and is responsible for investing £841.5bn worldwide (as at 30 June 2016) on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders.
- Legal & General has over seven million customers in the UK for life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans and over one million customers in the US who rely on us for life assurance.
- In 2015, Legal & General's operating profit (IFRS basis) was £1,455m and adjusted earnings per share were 18.58p for the period, an increase of 14% and 11% respectively. For H1 2016 Legal & General’s adjusted operating profit was £822m, an increase of 10%, profit before tax attributable to equity holders was £826m, an increase of 23%, adjusted earnings per share were 11.20p for the period, an increase of 14%, and net cash generation of £727m, an increase of 16%.