"While our ethos remains the same, we need the right mutual structure in place to truly flourish moving forward."
LV= has announced plans to convert from a friendly society to a company limited by guarantee.
In its full year results, the firm said that being governed by the Friendly Societies Act "restricts its ability to manage the business effectively and in the best interest of LV= members".
The change will not impact the firm's mutual status but means LV= will instead be governed by the Companies Act.
Its full year results also revealed a significant drop in profit before tax from £122m in 2017 to £20m.
Richard Rowney, group chief executive, said profits were hit by "deteriorating financial markets in 2018".
LV= said protection sales were adversely impacted by a combination of increased competition, lower volumes in the first half of the year and the closure of certain niche product lines in 2017.
The firm said pensions new business sales fell in particular, reflecting reduced levels of DB to DC pension transfers following their peak in 2017.
However equity release sales remained strong, increasing by 77% to £211m, while annuities were up 16% to £137m.
Richard Rowney, LV= group chief executive, said: “Our friendly society status has served us well for many years but the Friendly Societies Act is becoming outdated and restricts our opportunities for growth and future development. While our ethos remains the same, we need the right mutual structure in place to truly flourish moving forward.
"Converting to a company limited by guarantee provides the foundations from which to build on our heritage and strong brand to create a better mutual for the future, where being a member has more meaningful benefits.”