Northern Assurance Company

In the early part of the 20th century, the so-called “curse of the Northern” was supposed to affect architects who designed the company’s buildings. The architect appointed to design the company’s London office died during building work and his replacement was seized by an illness from which he never recovered. The architects of the company’s buildings in Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle also died only a few years after the buildings were completed.

The Northern Assurance Company was established in Aberdeen in 1836 as the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company. It was incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Registration Act and renamed the Northern Assurance Company under an act of parliament dated 30th June, 1848. From the start it enjoyed close links with the North of Scotland Bank, and it rapidly assumed first national, then world dimensions, with boards in London, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Melbourne, and a considerable volume of overseas business. There have been many amalgamations and acquisitions throughout its history, culminating in merger with the Commercial Union (now CGNU) in 1968.