The boss of Legal & General urges pension funds and savers to invest in Britain to stop FTSE plunderers
The boss of L&G has urged pension funds and savers to invest more in Britain
The boss of Legal & General (L&G) has urged pension funds and savers to invest more in Britain if they want to stop the stock market being plundered by pandemic predators.
Nigel Wilson, who has led the insurance giant for nearly a decade, said he was increasingly worried about companies being snapped up by private equity giants and overseas rivals.
He has urged UK investors to get better at investing in domestic companies and realising their value, adding: ‘We have to invest more in the UK. There’s a big difference between being a UK company and being a subsidiary of a foreign company, in terms of where the decisions are made and the levers are pulled.’
Companies including grocer Morrisons, defence firms Ultra Electronics and Meggitt, and housebuilder St Modwen have all found themselves in bidders’ crosshairs in recent weeks. L&G, which is the UK’s largest provider of workplace pensions, with more than £1 trillion of savers’ money, has been trying for several years to push for greater flexibility in where pension pots can be invested.
It already invests in affordable housing, and has a partnership with Oxford University to build homes for students and staff.
But Wilson thinks pension pots could be used to boost the economy, while also still providing a good return for savers, if more of the money went towards venture capital, green infrastructure and affordable homes.
L&G unveiled its results for the first half of the year. Operating profit climbed 14pc to £1.1bn, and its investment management business pulled in £27.4bn more. It will pay a dividend of 5.18p, up 5pc from last year.