Our history


Our business was born from a simple purpose – to provide Australians with the enduring security and protection of life insurance. That same purpose guides us today and into the future.


1886 – 1887

The Citizens’ Life Assurance Company is registered in Sydney on 31 December 1886 and opens for business on 1 January 1887. Its stated purpose is “to popularise Industrial Life Assurance, and to carry it to the homes of the working classes by issuing policies for small amounts and receiving the premiums thereon each week.”


The Citizens’ Life Assurance Company amalgamates with the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, forming The Mutual Life and Citizens’ Assurance Company Limited, or MLC.


At the end of WWI, MLC makes headlines as one of only three life insurance companies in the world to “refund to every soldier the war risk premiums he has paid. This covers all war risk premiums paid since the outbreak of war.”


MLC becomes a publicly listed company.


Lend Lease acquires 50% of MLC in 1982, and the balance of the company in 19851.


More than 100 years after its founding, MLC registers a new logo: the iconic ‘nest egg’. It is created as a symbol of the growth and protection we provide to our customers.


MLC and Capita Financial Group merge to become the third-largest life office in Australia, with assets of more than $10 billion2.


Lend Lease sells MLC to National Australia Bank (NAB) for $4.56 billion, one of the biggest mergers in Australian corporate history3.


MLC acquires Aviva Australia Holdings’ wealth management business, including the Navigator platform4.


MLC Limited separates from other MLC brands to create a dedicated life insurance business – MLC Life Insurance. Nippon Life Group acquires an 80% stake in MLC Limited from NAB.


As the world grapples with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to provide support and service for customers, even with our offices in lockdown.


With the pandemic stretching into its second year, there is concern about vaccine side effects among some members of the public. We release a public statement to our customers that receiving, or refusing, the COVID-19 vaccine will not influence insurance underwriting decisions or affect a customer’s ability to obtain insurance5.


We launch Vivo, our health, wellness and recovery program, to provide “care for life’s journey” for our customers. Less than six months after its launch, Vivo wins its first industry award.



We’re recognised as a leader in health and wellness after taking out the top spot in Money Magazine’s 2023 Consumer Finance Awards for its already award-winning Vivo health and wellness program.


Back to our story


1 http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/lend-lease-corporation-limited-history

2 https://www.afr.com/politics/mlc-and-capita-merged-19901005-k44q7

3 https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/news/financial-planning/national-buys-mlc-45-billion

4 https://www.investmentmagazine.com.au/2009/06/nab-2

5 https://www.mlcinsurance.com.au/about-us/media/mlc-life-insurance-encourages-customers-to-get-the-covid-19-vaccine