LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - British life insurer Legal & General said it missed expectations for 2023 operating profit on Wednesday amid tough market conditions, dashing residual investor hopes of a share buyback and sending its stock lower in early trading.

Operating profit was unchanged at 1.67 billion pounds ($2.12 billion), against a forecast of 1.75 billion pounds, according to a company-supplied consensus poll.

L&G said it had achieved record new business volumes of 13.7 billion pounds in so-called bulk annuities, insurance for corporate pension schemes.

But the insurer said higher UK interest rates in the past year impacted assets under management. Rival asset managers abrdn and Schroders have also been under pressure.

Its shares were down 2.5% at 0906 GMT, the biggest decliner in the FTSE 100.

L&G, whose businesses stretch from pensions to housebuilders, said it would outline a new strategy at a capital markets event in June.

New Chief Executive Antonio Simoes told a media call that this would involve "taking a fresh perspective" on the business.

Simoes said he had spoken to potential and existing shareholders, and the outline would include "a clear strategy and simpler investment case," growth opportunities in Britain and overseas, and capital distribution plans.

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of the biggest investors in the UK stock market, recorded a 19% drop in operating profit to 274 million pounds. LGIM's AUM dropped 3% to 1.16 trillion pounds and the unit suffered net client outflows of 38.4 billion pounds.

L&G's retail operating profit fell 2% to 408 million pounds, as the insurer said a hike in fintech valuations in 2022 was not repeated last year.

Jefferies analysts pointed to the impact of the closure last year of L&G's modular homes business, reiterating their hold rating on the stock.

"Before the turn of the year, some investors we had spoken to expected L&G to announce a buyback today, however expectations of this had reduced heading into results," Jefferies said in a note.

L&G said it would pay a dividend of 20.34 pence, up 5% and in line with expectations.

($1 = 0.7872 pounds) (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Sinead Cruise, Ros Russell and Bernadetted Baum)