Legal & General Gulf, the Bahrain-based life business formerly owned by Legal & General, has been renamed, in the wake of Legal & General Group’s sale last October of its 50% stake in the business to its JV partner, Ahli United Bank (AUB).
From 1 April, the company formerly known as L&G Gulf will be called Al Hilal Life, the company revealed today. Legal & General Gulf Takaful, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Gulf, will now be called Al Hilal Takaful.
Although Ahli United Bank is not quite a household name outside the Persian Gulf region, AUB happens to be Bahrain’s largest lender. In the year to the end of December 2014, it posted a profit of US$482.5m, at which point assets were said to total some US$31.7bn.
The financial details of AUB’s acquisition of L&G’s 50% stake in L&G Gulf – including the price paid – weren’t revealed at the time of the acquisition last year. The deal did, though, include L&G Group’s share of Legal & General Gulf Takaful.
Observers at the time the sale was announced last year saw the deal as a manifestation of what Legal & General chief financial officer Mark Gregory had some months previously said was the company’s officially-stated strategy of disposing of “peripheral assets” as needed, in order to focus on its “core strategy of building scalable, long-term businesses”.
Thus it was that the company completed the sale of its Dublin-based Irish operation to Canada Life in July, days before it announced plans to sell its 55% stake in an Egypt-based joint venture, Commercial International Life Insurance Co, to its Paris-based rival, AXA.
Al Hilal Life is headed up by Peter Drummond, who joined L&GG as its chief executive at the beginning of 2015, after a stint as head of life at Oman Insurance Co’s Dubai office. He was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.
Legal & General Gulf, now Al Hilal Life, is understood to employ around 60 people.