Legal & General
Annual Report

Making a difference through inclusive capitalism. 

Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle east and Asia. With almost 1.3 trillion in assets under management at 31 December 2020, Legal & General is a major global investor. 

Legal & General's purpose is to improve the lives of its customers, build a better society for the long term and create value for its shareholders. This inspires Legal & General to use its long-term assets in an economically and socially useful way to benefit everyone in the communities in which it operates. 

Legal & General's focus on inclusive capitalism is as important as ever following the impact Covid-19 has had on the economy. The ambition over the next five years is to increase its direct investment portfolio to 5 billion, with an emphasis on homes, urban regeneration, clean energy and small business finance. 

WHAT WE DID

We have worked with Legal & General, starting with its annual report, since 2008. As a complex business, a key aspect of our work has been to make content, which is often very complicated, more accessible, as well as to showcase the role Legal & General plays in society. Legal & General wanted a partner who properly understands both its business and brand strategy, and can create communications that connect with all its audiences across the full range of channels. 

As noted, Legal & General's purpose is to improve the lives of customers, build a better society for the long term and create value for its shareholders. This shapes every aspect of how the company does business. 

The annual report sits at the heart of Legal & General's integrated approach to communications. As such, we embedded the new brand into the report - utilising the key brand values of dynamism and flexibility. We took a straightforward, clear approach to design that enabled us to make complex content easily accessible to the reader. We achieved this through a clear hierarchy of information that catered for different levels of read and graphic devices, such as iconography, to signpost key elements of content. 

 

We work with Legal & General to improve its reporting each year. Best practice aspects are retained, such as: 

- Demonstrating how the company's strategy is built around the global trends that affects real people. 

- Ensuring CSR or sustainability issues are not siloed into one separate section, but instead are woven into the narrative fo the strategic report.

- Providing additional content, as well as disclosures that do not change much from year to year, within stand-alone pdf supplements published on the same day as the annual report and made available alongside the annual report in one single location. 

To bring to life how Legal & General's activities are both economically and socially useful, key areas of focus are showcased in short pieces embedded throughout the strategic report. Within the 2020 annual report, these include sections focusing on the power of pensions, how Legal & General is working towards a net zero carbon future, as well as transforming towns and cities. Importantly, each area of focus is made more accessible through engaging illustrations and is put in context through the provision of quantitative evidence. 

Especially in such an extraordinary year as 2020, the focus on how companies interact with their stakeholders has increased substantially. Legal & General introduces its key stakeholders on page 6, with an icon for each. 

A new spread then sets out how in shaping its strategy, Legal & General considers the impact on its stakeholders groups. Examples of actions during the year are set out for key stakeholders around the six growth drivers that set the company's strategic priorities. 

The same key stakeholders are consistently reported against within Legal & General's section 172 statement within the corporate governance section. This statement is thorough, running to eight pages, addressing stakeholder engagement and outcomes, major Board decisions and discussions, employee engagement and a Covid-19 case study. 

Our relationship with Legal & General has grown over time. Starting with the annual report, we have worked with the company to build its corporate website, produce various communications materials and, most recently, evolve its brand - helping to define its brand personality and create a visual identity toolkit to shine a light on 'inclusive capitalism'.

Together, this all helps Legal & General to amplify all the great work it does and tell a consistent and coherent story.