Chairman’s introduction.

A major influence on the lives of many people

We're a major influence in the daily lives of many people both in the UK and increasingly overseas. We believe that by being in business and simply doing business better each year, we can positively improve the environment, society and the economy as a whole.

Our foremost responsibility is to deliver on the promises that we've made to our customers. It's our role to help them deal with the realities of daily life in the more vulnerable periods in their lives.

At the heart of the economy

If customers trust us to deliver on their promises, our business can succeed. Our scale and success puts us at the heart of the economy, and this creates a wider set of responsibilities.

For example:

  • We provide capital and debt financing for over 3% of all FTSE listed companies
  • We provide over 10 million customers in the UK, Netherlands and the US with insurance or pensions that help them save for retirement and protect against the impact of ill health
  • We're a major commercial property landlord in the UK, providing premises for businesses who want to grow
  • We've taken the opportunity to use our underlying balance sheet to fund areas of society and the economy that need long term infrastructure funding. Our responsibility means we have chosen to provide stable capital in the energy, housing, health and care sectors
  • We provide employment opportunities and support an extensive supply chain in the countries where we operate, enabling businesses and communities to thrive.
  • We pay appropriate taxes in all countries where we trade

Helping the UK to get back on its feet

Our growing success increases the need for us to take responsibility for providing our employees with a great place to work. We're a services business where culture, attitude and behaviours drive our ability to deliver on our promises. We've a strong ethos of making sure that we use natural resources more efficiently each year. We also need to ensure that suppliers who help us deliver products and services to our customers, do so in the right way.

Stewardship of assets

Our major investment role in equity, bond and property markets brings a strong sense of stewardship. We own assets largely because our clients instruct us to make those investments on their behalf. We believe that we have an opportunity to own assets that can have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy. We extend principle of responsible ownership to our overseas ventures in developing markets.

What’s Material? – Housing, Health, Income in Later Life

We play a key role in creating economically viable solutions to improve people’s lives: our customers need to be able to find somewhere to live, generate an adequate income in later life and cope better with ill health. So we're using our investment influence to tackle the big issues facing us all.

We help to develop responses to major challenges like an ageing population and reduced government spending on welfare. We're filling the gap created by the banks repairing their balance sheets by developing new flows of patient, socially useful capital. Our strategy is to put our underlying capital into the parts of the economy that would benefit from stable long-term funding. We're now providing much needed funding to increase homebuilding and improve people's access to better care homes and hospitals.

Our culture

We hold views on the issues that matter and are an inquisitive, thoughtful company that draws on a wide variety of external views and experts to help. Problem solving at this scale requires a collaborative effort from public, private and not for profit sectors to improve quality of life. That's why we think our responsibilities go beyond our customers, shareholders and employees.

You probably live very close to something we have an influence over. I hope we have improved its social usefulness, environmental impact or economic value. If you're a customer, or know one of our customers, I hope we have been able to provide the right level of support, correctly, responsibly and in a way which incrementally adds to our broader social contribution.

Read our 2015 CSR Report.

Sir John Kingman
Chairman – Legal & General Group PLC

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