"We provide the spectral expansion in a weighted Hilbert space of a substantial class of invariant non-self-adjoint and non-local Markov operators which appear in limit theorems for positive-valued Markov processes. We show that this class is in bijection with a subset of negative definite functions and we name it the class of generalized Laguerre semigroups. Our approach, which goes beyond the framework of perturbation theory, is based on an in-depth and original analysis of an intertwining relation that we establish between this class and a self-adjoint Markov semigroup, whose spectral expansion is expressed in terms of the classical Laguerre polynomials. As a by-product, we derive smoothness properties for the solution to the associated Cauchy problem as well as for the heat kernel. Our methodology also reveals a variety of possible decays, including the hypocoercivity type phenomena, for the speed of convergence to equilibrium for this class and enables us to provide an interpretation of these in terms of the rate of growth of the weighted Hilbert space norms of the spectral projections. Depending on the analytic properties of the aforementioned negative definite functions, we are led to implement several strategies, which require new developments in a variety of contexts, to derive precise upper bounds for these norms"-- Provided by publisher