L&G to close flagship Kingswood headquarters


Legal & General is to close its flagship Surrey headquarters as part of a cost cutting drive that has already seen senior staff exit and a major restructuring of business divisions, Money Marketing can reveal.

The insurer employs 1,700 people in its purpose built, 50 acre Kingswood office but says it will be closing it “over the long-term” as part of “efficiency” savings.

L&G individual retirement managing director Bernie Hickman says: “In time we will not be in Kingswood.

“We have a lot of operational people working in Kingswood and when you step back it’s not an obvious place to have administrative activities – it’s quite an expensive place to be located.

“Times change and it’s bigger than we need it to be. When you look ahead as to where things are going, you need to move on.”

L&G would not confirm whether there would be redundancies.

Hickman says jobs will “mainly” be transferred to other offices and adds: “All the time you’re looking to ensure you are as cost efficient as you need to be. Going forward across many areas of the market, margins are lower and costs need to move in line with revenue.”

An L&G spokeswoman says its businesses across all locations are “actively considering their office requirements on an ongoing basis as part of our broader long-term business strategy”.

In addition to Kingswood, the firm employs 1,300 people in Hove, 1,300 in Cardiff and 600 in Birmingham and Witham.

The news comes in the same week Aviva announced the closure of three offices following the integration of Friends Life, as part of plans to save £225m in costs by the end of 2017.

The insurer will shut two Friends Life offices and one of its own over the next 18 months. The closures will be in Salisbury, Stretford and Salford.

Aviva also plans to reduce its presence in Exeter, Dorking and Manchester as it cuts staff by up to 1,500 people, as it announced earlier this year.

In the past year L&G several senior staff, including head of strategy for individuals annuities Tim Gosden and pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding, have exited.

The firm has also restructured, with group protection moved to the insurance division, the corporate defined contribution pensions platform moved inside L&G Investment Management, and the savings business was split into mature and digital divisions.