We are part of the worldwide Legal & General Group.

Our story begins over 178 years ago.

In 1836, six respected lawyers met in a London coffee house where life insurance was the topic of discussion. They decided to form an association under the chairmanship of John Adams which was eventually named Legal & General Life Assurance Society. Those founders had the same attitudes toward innovation and risk taking as those which characterize the Legal & General Group today. The financial skills of those six lawyers laid the foundation for L&G’s worldwide business.

With its headquarters still in London, Legal & General has expanded its presence outside of the United Kingdom. It has operations in the United States, France, the Netherlands, India and the Gulf. Legal & General is a leading provider of risk, savings and investment management products in the UK. Its long history not only gives it credibility but it demonstrates the company's experience in every kind of economic climate. It currently has over 10 million customers for its life insurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

Legal & General America is born.

Legal & General Group formed Legal & General America as a holding company in 1981, and bought Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) and its NY affiliate. The GELICO name changed to Banner in 1983. William Penn was purchased by Legal & General Group Plc as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banner Life Insurance Company in 1989. While Banner and William Penn remain the companies that underwrite and issue our policies, we go to market under a single name, Legal & General America.

Founding Facts

1949: Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO), the company that eventually became Banner Life Insurance Company, was chartered.

1963: Modern Life Insurance Company was founded. Its name changed in 1975 to William Penn Life Insurance Company of New York .

1981: GELICO was acquired by Legal & General Group Plc as a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1983 the name was changed to Banner, signifying our flagship position with Legal & General in the U.S.

1989: William Penn was purchased as a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner. Since that time, management for both companies has been consolidated at the senior level.

2011: We consolidated our marketing identities into a single brand, Legal & General America.

A HISTORY of financial strength with LEGAL & GENERAL.


Ninety percent of our international focus is on the U.S. The opportunity is so great.”

Dr. Nigel Wilson CEO, Legal & General Group

Our parent company, Legal & General Group Plc, is the 7th largest insurer in the world according to a 2014 A.M. Best report based on 2012 admitted assets. As of December 31, 2014, Legal & General Group Plc was responsibly investing £499 billion around the world on behalf of investors, policyholders and institutions.

Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and A.M. Best have recognized Legal & General Assurance Society Limited as one of the UK's top rated companies for financial strength. Legal & General Group Plc received numerous commendations in 2014 including "Best Insurance Provider" at the Personal Touch Awards.