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The Men Who Run Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN)

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LONDON — Management can make all the difference to a company’s success, and thus its share price.

The best companies are those run by talented and experienced leaders with strong vested interests in the success of the business, held in check by a board with sound financial and business acumen. Some of the worst investments to hold are those run by executives collecting fat rewards as the underlying business goes to pot.

In this series, I’m assessing the boardrooms of companies within the FTSE 100 (UKX). I hope to separate the management teams that are worth following from those that are not. Today, I am looking at Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN), the U.K.’s second-largest life and pensions company.

Here are the key directors:

Director Position
John Stewart (non-exec) Chairman
Nigel Wilson Chief Executive
Mark Gregory Executive Director (Savings)
John Pollock Executive Director (Risk)
Mark Zinkula Executive Director (LGIM)

John Stewart became chairman in March 2010, when Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN) was still reeling from the impact of the financial crisis. He started his career with Woolwich Building Society, working his way up to become CEO.

After selling Woolwich to Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) he became Barclays’ deputy CEO. He was credited with turning around National Australia Bank, which he ran from 2004 to 2008. He is a member of the Court of the Bank of England.

Step up
Nigel Wilson was appointed finance director in September 2009. Previously he was deputy CEO and finance director of UBM Plc (LON:UBM). His previous career included management roles at Dixons and Guinness Peat Aviation, and consultancy with McKinsey.

He stepped up to the CEO role in June last year, replacing Tim Breedon, who had been CEO for seven years and an employee for 25. Wilson plans to grow the business, which is in a mature industry, through bolt-on acquisitions and is interested in overseas expansion, especially in Asia.

Indicative of that, the interim CFO was appointed Group M&A director last January. The search for a new finance director is ongoing.

Mark Gregory held several divisional finance director roles before joining the board in 2009. He joined the group in 1998 after working for Kingfisher plc (LON:KGF) and ASDA. John Pollock is a longer-serving company man, joining Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN) in 1980, and the board in 2003.

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