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Departure for CEO after six years

Nish steps down as Skeoch takes top job at Standard Life

David NishDavid Nish is to step down as chief executive of Standard Life in August after six years in the role and nine years as a director. He will be succeeded by Keith Skeoch, chief executive of Standard Life Investments.

In a brief statement, the company said succession a the top had been discussed over recent months and “the board and David have agreed this is the right time” for Mr Nish to hand over the reins.

During his time in charge he has re-engineered Standard Life away from its traditional pensions role and into a broader based savings and investments company.

Mr Skeoch has led the growth of SLI since it was restructured as a core part of the group almost 20 years ago and last year brought Ignis Asset Management into the company which added significantly to the funds its handles. He will remain in his current post until August when a successor is likely to be named.

His elevation may be seen as part of the process of change at Standard Life as the fund management business come to be a greater focus of its activity.

Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman said:  “David has shown great leadership over the last six years and the outstanding progress we have made in that time has been achieved through his incredible drive and determination.

“He has changed the shape of Standard Life allowing us to successfully grow globally through world class investment management and distribution businesses. On behalf of the board I would like to say thank you and pay tribute for all that he has achieved. He leaves the business in extremely good shape with a clear and successful strategy, strong operational performance and a depth of leadership talent.

“I am very pleased that Keith Skeoch is to become our new chief executive. He’s been an integral member of Standard Life’s senior team over the last 11 years. Under Keith’s leadership the asset management part of our group has developed into a leading global player.

“He has an exceptional understanding of world markets and the opportunities they offer, and has the right talent and experience to continue to deliver our strategy and take Standard Life on the next stage of our journey.”

Mr Nish, said: “One of the most important responsibilities of a chief executive is recognising both the right time to pass the baton and also to help ensure it is passed on to the right person. Now is the right time for both the group and myself. It has been an absolute privilege to lead Standard Life for the last six years and to help build our business into the strong global player it is today.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has helped to make Standard Life the company it is today. The business is full of inspirational people who work hard every day to do the best that they can for our customers and clients. Our people are truly the best.

“For me it will be a time of mixed emotions as I prepare for a new future, however I know that Standard Life is in good hands. Keith is the right person to continue to deliver on our strategy and I wish him every success for the future.”

Mr Skeoch said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Standard Life. Standard Life has been both transformed and simplified in recent years. This has put the fundamentals in place to build a world class business with investment management at its heart, serving savers and investors through our strong and innovative distribution channels. It’s a great honour to have the responsibility for the next phase of our growth and I’m excited by the challenge.

“I’d like to thank everyone across the business who has worked so hard to make this possible and David for handing the company over in such strong shape.”

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