LV=, the former friendly society that is one of Britain’s biggest financial services mutuals, is exploring a sale of its remaining operations in a move that would bring the curtain down on its 177-year status as an independent business.
Sky News understands that LV= has engaged financial advisers to examine whether a sale of its life insurance and pensions units would be in the best interests of its 1.3 million member customers.
A joint venture similar to the one it struck in 2017 with the German insurance giant Allianz for its general insurance operations is also an option that its board is considering.
The agreement eventually led to LV= selling its remaining 30.1% stake to Allianz for up to £365m at the end of last year.
Sources said there was no guarantee that LV=’s board, which is chaired by Alan Cook, would opt to pursue any corporate action, and could decide that independence remained the best outcome.
Fenchurch Advisory Partners, which is part of the investment bank Natixis, is understood to be advising LV= on its options.
At the beginning of this year, LV= ended its long friendly society status by becoming a company limited by guarantee – a transition that it said would allow its board to act more effectively on behalf of members.
Any decision to pursue a sale or joint venture would come at a time when LV=’s capital position is strong.
In results published in March, it said its capital coverage ratio – one measure of its financial resilience – was 244pc, well above its target of 200pc.
A spokesman for LV= declined to comment on Thursday evening.