Legal & General has confirmed it is to enter the offshore market with the establishment of a new international company in Ireland which will deliver offshore bonds into the UK market by the second half of the year.
In its full year preliminary results, Legal & General announced it has seen a year-on-year increase in unit linked bond sales of 26%, which it says has largely been driven by the success of its open architecture portfolio bond which was launched in October 2005 and aimed at the high-net worth market.
“In line with trends in the market and as a natural extension of our HNW product range we have taken the decision that the time is now right for us to enter the international arena," says L&G in its results.
Subject to regulatory approval, the company plans to launch a new company in Ireland called Legal & General International, which hopes to offer UK investors an international pooled portfolio bond in the second half of 2007.
Simon Pistell, managing director of individual wealth at Legal & General, says: “The gross of tax market has grown considerably in recent years and with the development of open architecture products in both the UK and international markets, the time is now right for us to move into this arena.”
The move sees Legal & General, one of the last UK life companies without an offshore presence, join a growing list of insurers choosing Ireland as the base for their international business.
Prudential International is already based in Ireland, while Aegon Scottish Equitable International also relocated their offshore business to Dublin in 2002 to better serve the UK and when Standard Life International entered the offshore market in January 2006 it also chose Dublin over the traditional offshore base of the Isle of Man.
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