Boss of Britain’s largest asset manager L&G calls on the next PM to reform City to boost growth
Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General
The boss of Britain’s largest asset manager has called on the next Prime Minister to open the country’s doors to investment.
Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, said the next inhabitant of Number 10 desperately needs to push ahead with reform to boost growth.
He picked out areas such as planning and pension regulations which were ripe for a shake-up.
‘We need an investment-led recovery in the UK and that plays to our strengths,’ Wilson said.
‘We’d like to step up and do more, rather than less. We’re hoping that whoever’s the next Prime Minister encourages us to invest more in the UK.’
At the moment, Wilson said, the planning system results in projects taking too long to complete.
And strict rules governing how pension money is invested – which are being examined by Parliament – make it too tricky for investors like L&G to plough money into areas which need it.
‘I think people would like to see us invest more. There’s lots of economic and social problems that need solving across the UK – a lot of those are capital,’ he said.
‘It’s so important that we get the UK to modernise,’ he said, adding that homes and offices in the US were being retrofitted to make them more energy-efficient.
But the UK had not ‘passed any regulation here that would be helpful in the transition to net zero’, adding: ‘We know housing is a very important part of that.’
L&G celebrated a solid six months, with profits up from £1.1billion to £1.2billion in the first half of the year. Investors also piled £65.6billion into its L&G Investment Management business.
And it said the pipeline of pension risk transfer deals – where companies sell their pension liabilities to a firm like L&G to offload the risk – was the strongest it had ever been.