Press releases

John Godfrey stands down from Legal & General after 16 successful years

After 16 years with Legal & General Group (L&G), and almost forty years in the City of London, John Godfrey, Director of Levelling Up, is moving on to focus on the public sector side of the UK's Levelling Up investment programme.

11 Dec 2023


Full press release

John joined Legal & General as Group Communications Director in 2006, becoming Corporate Affairs Director following the Great Financial Crisis of 2009. In that role he was variously responsible for media relations, internal communications, corporate responsibility and brand, in addition to leading Legal & General’s public policy activities.

During this period, he worked closely with Sir Nigel Wilson to pioneer private sector institutional investment in cities, including our first major projects in Salford and Newcastle.

In 2016 John was appointed by the Prime Minister as Head of the Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, working across devolution, industrial strategy, pensions, housing and the regeneration of U.K. cities - policies which later came to be termed "Levelling Up."

John returned to Legal & General a year later, resuming his position on the Executive Committee and advancing the case for real asset investment and other productive investment of pension fund monies. John was also instrumental in establishing Legal & General's ground-breaking partnership with Edinburgh University to create the Advanced Care Research Centre.

In 2023, John stood down as Corporate Affairs Director to concentrate on the Levelling Up agenda. This includes Legal & General’s £4 billion partnership with Andy Street and his team at the West Midlands Combined Authority, where John is now seconded as Interim Executive Director for Housing, Property and Regeneration, taking a leading role in driving progress towards the West Midlands' 215,000 homes by 2031 target.

John Godfrey, Director of Levelling Up: “Legal & General has been a fantastic pioneering organisation, showing how private capital can deliver real results for real people. I'm sure it will continue to go from strength to strength, and I'd like to thank Sir Nigel and all my colleagues who have got us this far. I intend now to focus on working from the inside to help our brilliant cities achieve their full potential working with institutional funds as well as public money.”
Sir Nigel Wilson, Group CEO: “John has been a terrific ExCo colleague who has helped steer Legal & General successfully for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, and our people. He has been at the very centre of our approach to Inclusive Capitalism – a little known fact is that John was the first colleague to present a paper on Climate Change to the Group Board. It is testament to his hard work and commitment that Legal & General is regarded so well externally. It therefore felt right that John was alongside me when Legal & General was awarded most admired company in 2022. I want to thank John for all he has achieved and delivered in his years with the business and wish him well for the future.”
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Natalie Whitty

Group Corporate Affairs Director

Group Communications

T: +44 (0)7384 435692

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Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which 39% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.