Legal & General With Profits
RWP Research Findings, Overview and Comments
In considering any company and its with-profits RYWP will look to assess a range of factors which will include: the company’s management record; its transparency of information, its financial strength; its prospects for providing future returns and the nature of its with-profits approach.
Legal & General have one closed fund known as the with-profits sub fund. This fund includes Income Bonds, Growth Bonds and various pension and life plans/products. It is a surprising conclusion that we rate this fund as POOR, as traditionally Legal and General have been considered a good company in this sector.
However far too many sample policies fall into the lower returning segments of the past performance reviews.
The position is complicated because although they have one fund, this is split amongst 18 different policy types which have varying terms and performance records. They do offer some guarantees on some policies, but in the main these are not especially prevalent.
We have also noted that they apply Market Value Reducers far more commonly than many of their peer group.
However there will be always be situations which count as exceptions, where a policyholder at an individual level with a ‘poor’ company has good returns or good ongoing prospects. Or even where performance has been poor there can be compelling reasons to look at alternatives; for example if you have a valuable guarantee at a certain date it may be advisable to maintain this.
It is only with a bespoke assessment that the position can be fully determined in any individual case.
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Company ownership position
Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd is a part of the Legal & General Group PLC. They look after the interests of just over 10 million customers worldwide and in the middle of 2014 their market worth was around £14 billion.
Legal & General started life as The Legal & General Life Assurance Society in 1836, operating from temporary premises taken on lease at 10 Chancery Lane, London. The founding members were six lawyers.
One of the company’s founding principles was to help people achieve financial security. This principle, together with the concept of service to the public held by their founders, continues today.
Over the years and decades they have expanded geographically, and now have businesses in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Egypt, India and the Gulf.
By the end of the 1960s the company had an asset value of over £1 billion. As at 31 December 2013, they had a market cap of over £13 billion, were responsible for investing £463 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders, and employed over 9,000 people worldwide.
Legal and General With-profits funds
Legal & General operate a whole series of sub with-profits funds under their with-profits “umbrella”; these sub funds are relevant to different policies, the time when they were issued, the product under which they were issued and the terms applying. This makes statements about their historic performance very difficult because the with-profits umbrella covers so many different scenarios. They have just under £15 billion in their with-profits.
For the latest with-profits bonus information please click here:
For information on how Legal & General approach the management of their with-profits, including their current asset allocation mix and customer friendly documents on each product type please click here:
Please remember that any of our summary findings or conclusions are general; an appraisal of the general position for that company. There will be situations where an individual policyholder with a company that is ‘good’’ may want to look at surrendering or transferring their policy (for example to secure a guarantee or because it does not suit their risk position), likewise there will be situations where policyholders with a ‘poor’ company want to stick with what they have (for example because the penalty of exiting will be too great). Nothing can replace getting a report based on your unique circumstances; it is only this unique, personalised report which will provide the information that will instruct you on your circumstances regardless of the company and our general comments.
Please note the information on these pages should not be used in any way or form as the basis for any decision about your with-profits investment or plan. RWP makes every attempt to ensure that all information is up to date and accurate but RWP cannot be held responsible for any of the detail provided. The information above is published to act as a broad guide to the Company’s position, history and future prospects. However any decision about your own with-profit plan should only be taken after you have sought and received qualified advice from an appropriate regulated advisory source and should be based entirely on that advice.