L&G hires Treasury mandarin as chairman

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Legal & General has appointed Treasury mandarin John Kingman as its next chairman.

Kingman was previously second permanent secretary of the Treasury and also headed up UK Financial Investments, the body responsible for managing the Government’s banking stakes.

He will replace interim chairman Rudy Markham who has filled the role since John Stewart’s retirement on 1 June.

Kingman says: “L&G is a great company. I am delighted to serve as its next chairman, helping to generate value as part of a strong team and applying our collective skills on behalf of our shareholders and customers.”

It comes as L&G has issued a statement to reassure investors on its capital strength following the recent market volatility over the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The statement says: “L&G’s central planning scenario, ahead of the referendum, was for a 50-50 probability of a vote for the UK to leave.

“We positioned our balance sheet accordingly to reduce risk for our customers and shareholders.  We undertook a number of derisking actions in respect of our asset portfolios, including the traded equities held within our shareholder funds, before the referendum to mitigate our balance sheet against the downside risk of a ‘leave’ vote.”

L&G says it treats UK sovereign debt as AA rated and so will not be affected by the downgrade of UK sovereign debt by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

The statement adds: “We are executing our clear and focused strategy based on five key long-term growth drivers: Ageing populations, globalisation of asset markets, creation of new real assets, welfare reform and digital. 

“This strategy is resilient and we see these trends as substantially unaffected by the EU referendum result.”