L&G offloads non-core Dutch business

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UK insurance group Legal & General has confirmed the sale of its Dutch business as it continues its programme of offloading what it deems non-core businesses to focus on other, faster growing markets.

The sale of Legal & General Nederland Levensverzekering Maatschappij NV, headquartered in Hilversum, to London-listed life and insurance consolidator Chesnara has netted L&G €161m, and delivered a small improvement to the UK insurance groups’ overall coverage ratio and resulted in a small IFRS profit. L&G previously sold businesses in Ireland, France, Egypt, the Gulf, as well as Suffolk Life and the funds platform Cofunds in the UK. The Dutch business was established in 1984, and focused on risk and investment products sold through independent financial advisers. It also has a defined contribution group pension platform serving the Dutch SME market, with some 210,000 policyholders and funds under management of some €2.1bn. New owner Chesnara has been buying and consolidating businesses active in the life and pensions markets of the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Away from the life and pensions business, L&G continues to grow its asset manager, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), which according to annual group results published on 8 March saw AUM grow by some 20% over the past year. Net inflows were slightly down on the previous year – £31.2bn in 2016 versus £33.3bn in 2015, but operating profit went up by 3%. Growth areas seen for the asset manager include DB pension schemes de-risking, market share rising in the area of DC pension schemes, while the US business is seeking to grow in index, active fixed income and solutions for the US pension market.

Net inflows over the past year from international business hit £14.5bn, which was up on the flows of £9.5bn seen in 2015. International AUM hit £177.4bn, up 45% on the previous year, with the UK-based manager benefitting from the falling value of sterling. European net inflows were up at £2.6bn against £2bn the previous year, which the manager said was driven by growing interest in its index and multi-asset products, as well as the launch of additional products.