Sky News has reported that the Bournemouth-based investment, pensions and insurance provider is looking to ditch its mutual status, employing consultants Fenchurch Partners to explore the options.
The group includes wealth manager Frizzell & Partners, a St James’s Place Wealth management practice.
However an LV= spokesman said: “We do not comment on market rumour and speculation. We remain focused on continuing to support our customers, members and partners during the Covid-19 crisis.”
A joint venture, along the lines of one it established with Allianz for general insurance, is one option being considered, according to Sky News.
LV= has approximately 1.25m member customers who own ‘a member-qualifying product’ - this includes current and historic products, apart from equity release products and customers who have general insurance products. General insurance products are now provided by LV= General Insurance Group, a subsidiary of Allianz.
Overall the company has 5.5m customers and 3,500 employees.
In January it appointed former Zurich senior executive Mark Hartigan as chief executive on an initial 12 month contract. Mark Hartigan was part of the senior leadership team at Zurich Insurance Group between 2009 and 2019.
At the beginning of 2020 LV= became a company limited by guarantee, ending its friendly society status.
Privately, LV= considers its capital position strong and there would be no need for a ‘fire sale.’ The company has surplus capital for its needs at present, it is understood. In January it acquired Legal & General’s general insurance business and continues to roll out new products.
Staff have switched to home working during the Coronavirus pandemic and business is currently buoyant, Financial Planning Today understands. The firm has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a number of product initiatives, including premium reduction options and payment breaks for the most financially vulnerable income protection customers. Short term annuities have also been launched.
All employees are being paid in full and none have been furloughed.