Legal & General falls as CEO Nigel Wilson prepares to retire

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Legal & General falls as CEO Nigel Wilson prepares to retire
Credit: © Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- Shares in Legal & General (LON: LGEN ) fell some 3% in London on Monday, after the insurer and asset manager announced that its long-serving and widely respected Chief Executive Nigel Wilson will retire later this year.

Wilson joined as chief financial officer in 2009, and has been CEO since 2012, in which time Legal & General stock has risen around 150%. Most of those gains came in the first half of his tenure as, with many U.K.-focused equities, it has found life harder since the Brexit referendum, The stock is more or less unchanged since then-Prime Minister David Cameron called that vote.

L&G said the board has begun a search for a successor, which will consider both internal and external candidates. Wilson will stay on for a six-month transitional period once his successor has started work. 

The board estimates that the entire process will take around a year. 

The group had a strong first half in 2022, despite the gathering clouds over the U.K. economy. Operating profit and earnings per share were both up 8% from a year earlier, at £1.16 billion and 19.28p respectively. The company expects operating profits to continue to grow at the same rate in the second half. 

 By 08:30 ET (13:30 GMT), Legal & General stock was down 2.9%. the second-worst performing stock in the FTSE 100 .

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