LV= considers pensions and life insurance business sale

LV= is reportedly considering the sale of its pensions and life insurance business units, in a move that could end the company’s 177 years of independence.

Sky News reported that LV= is in discussions with advisers over whether the sale would be in its customers’ best interest, including Fenchurch Advisory Partners, which is part of the investment bank Natixis.

Despite mulling over a possible sale, the report added that there was no guarantee the board would decide to move away from independence.

LV= currently employs a workforce of around 1,700 people and serves around 1.28m customers, including 1.25m members.

The latest transaction involving the company saw Allianz Holdings plc complete its planned acquisition of the remaining 51 percent of the LV General Insurance Group from LV=, with the total consideration paid by Allianz for 100 percent of the group reported to be up to £1.078bn.

Following the sale, LV= in March recorded a significant recovery as its results for 2019 showed the company achieving a £15m profit before tax from continuing operations, compared with a £90m loss the year before.

The company cut back on staff numbers during the year, with chief executive Mark Hartigan commenting that “strong cost discipline will be increasingly important throughout 2020 as we make the transition from our old group structure to a pure life, pensions and investments business”.

The company’s capital coverage ratio has increased to 244 per cent, above the top end of its risk appetite range of up to 200 per cent, leaving LV= considering how best to utilise this surplus capital.

An LV= spokesperson told Pensions Age: “We do not comment on market rumour and speculation. We remain focused on continuing to support our customers, members and partners during the Covid-19 crisis.”

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