The last week has dramatically shifted the landscape of the British insurance market with the announcement of full-year 2022 and Q1 results, and the news that Penny James has stepped down from her role as CEO of Direct Line Group.
Today, it has been revealed that Legal & General chief executive officer Sir Nigel Wilson is retiring. In a report by Reuters, it was noted that Wilson will remain in place until a successor is appointed.
Wilson has led the British insurer and pensions provider for a decade, becoming CEO in 2012 after first joining the group as its chief financial officer in 2009. In January 2022, Wilson was knighted for his services to the finance industry and regional development – becoming one of the 23 individuals who made it to the Knights Bachelor list within the 2022 New Year Honours.
According to Reuters, a company release noted that Wilson has agreed to continue as CEO until a new leader starts, and will support a smooth transition following the appointment.
“It is envisaged that this process will take around a year,” the company statement said. “In the meantime, Sir Nigel will continue to focus on delivering the current strategy of the group, supported by the executive team.”
Reuters reported that L&G said its guidance on full-year operating profit for last year remains unchanged and that it expects an operational surplus of £1.8 billion ($2.23 billion).
In a Press release issued by Legal & General, group chair Sir John Kingman paid tribute on behalf of the board to the “outstanding contribution” Wilson has made to the group for almost 14 years. He described the retiring executive as a “world-class leader who has worked with great passion and energy” and said Legal & General has been very fortunate to benefit from his vision, drive and commitment.
“Nigel has successfully navigated significant geopolitical changes as well as challenges in the regulatory and market environments of each of our core businesses,” Kingman said, “and has steered the group into a position of strength from which it can continue developing on behalf of its shareholders, customers and people.
“Under his stewardship, the group has consistently delivered profitable, sustainable and inclusive growth. Nigel has been a tireless champion for investment-led growth and responsible investment.
Nigel’s decision to announce his planned retirement from Legal & General now allows for an orderly process to appoint a new chief executive who can continue delivering on the Group’s immense potential.”
Wilson also commented on his decision to retire as CEO, noting that the group has been a big part of his life and as such, the decision was made with “mixed emotions.” It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as CEO, he said, and he is deeply proud of everything the business has achieved.
“It has been a remarkable team effort by all my colleagues across the world,” Wilson added. “Without their unstinting efforts we would not have achieved the tremendous success we have. I have also benefitted hugely from the support of an outstanding board.
“I firmly believe we have laid strong foundations to support the next phase of growth for the group, with one of the most talented, collaborative and collegiate management teams in any industry to deliver this. I remain fully committed to delivering the current strategy of the group, in partnership with the executive team, and supporting the transition to a new chief executive.”
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