Man behind insurance giant’s 10,000 homes-a-year housing push will stay until a successor is found 

The chief executive of L&G Sir Nigel Wilson, who is behind the insurance firm’s push into housing, is to retire. 

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The firm’s board said it will now start a “rigorous process” to appoint a successor, considering internal and external candidates, with Wilson staying on until a replacement is found. 

The outgoing CEO, who last year told Building about his optimism for L&G’s housing investments, said he had “mixed emotions” about his decision to retire as the group had been a “big part of my life”. 

He added: “It has been an honour and privilege to serve as chief executive of Legal & General over the past decade and I am deeply proud of everything we have achieved. 

“I firmly believe we have laid strong foundations to support the next phase of growth for the group, with one of the most talented, collaborative and collegiate management teams in any industry to deliver this.”

A spokesperson for L&G, on asked whether it would continue with its focus on housebuilding, said: “We are not pointing to any change in strategy.”

Wilson’s vision for L&G was to take billions in pension liabilities that L&G looks after and invest them in real physical assets, including housing. L&G has a plan to build 10,000 homes per year – which would make it the UK’s fourth biggest housebuilder. 

>> See also Why Nigel Wilson is persisting with L&G’s huge housing push

Wilson will continue to “focus on delivering the current strategy of the group, supported by the executive team” while a successor is found, the firm said. It is expected the recruitment process would take around a year. 

Wilson joined the group in 2009 as chief financial officer and was appointed chief executive in 2012.

L&G delivered an operating profit of £1,160m half the way through last year. 

The group’s modular homes business, L&G Modular Homes, announced at the end of last year it had agreed a joint venture with southern-based housing association Vivid to build 1,000 homes over five years.