Looking to a brighter future
There’s no doubt that 2020 will mostly be remembered for the wrong reasons, but there were occasional glimmers of hope during an incredibly tough year. Our purpose of improving the lives of our customers, creating value for our shareholders and investing for the good of society has never been more relevant. And in 2020, we rose to the challenge to deliver on all counts.
In May, we partnered with the Mirrors Programme to raise funds to provide free laptops to Bermuda’s public-school students to support their learning through the pandemic and beyond. Known as Lighthouse Connect, this critically important programme supports students in navigating their studies in remote learning environments, as we aim to ensure that no child misses out on education because of a lack of access to technology. We’re on track to deliver over 230 laptops into the hands of students this academic year alone, and we’re just getting started; 120 students from The Berkeley Institute, CedarBridge Academy, Clearwater Middle School, Success Academy and others selected by the Department of Education have already benefitted from our fund.
In September, Legal & General Re won the Life Transaction of the Year Award at Trading Risk Magazine’s annual awards. Our adverse mortality stop loss cover protected our portfolio of mortality business against a global pandemic, and was executed just a few months in advance of the Covid-19 pandemic being declared.
Later in September, we were delighted to announce that Fitch Ratings had upgraded our Insurer Financial Strength from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-‘. Following substantial growth in our internal and external reinsurance business volumes, and our added value to the group in capital management terms, L&G Re’s strategic importance was also upgraded, from ‘Very Important’ to ‘Core’. In February, 2021, S&P Global Ratings added its endorsement of our progress by upgrading our long-term financial strength rating from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-‘.
And at the end of the summer, our CEO Thomas Olunloyo’s Serving the Servers initiative distributed the last of its grocery cards to restaurant staff whose livelihoods had been affected by the pandemic. Between May and September, the initiative raised over $35,000 and helped more than 700 families buy essential supplies during the pandemic.
Despite the challenges of 2020, we delivered strong financial results and continued on our growth trajectory. L&G Re posted a record full-year profit, and return on equity was 40%, accounting for 34% of L&G Group’s after-tax profit for the year. At year end, total assets were $29.8 billion.
These returns have enabled us to continue our goal of ‘inclusive capitalism’. Legal & General Group has an innovative approach to tackling economic and societal issues and are active investors in creative industries and science and technology. We want to go beyond investing in ideas that already exist by supporting the scientific community and in turn supporting economic growth. Our focus on science and technology includes investments in renewable energy such as Kensa Heat Pumps, the UK’s largest manufacturer and installer of ground source heat pump technology and in Bruntwood SciTech, the UK’s largest science and innovation property platform.
Our commitment to building a better world has continued into 2021 as we focus on helping the global economy recover from the pandemic. In a time when the world seems to have become smaller, we’re still dreaming big and looking to a brighter future.