Pay package for CEO
New Standard Life Aberdeen boss in line for £6.3m deal
Stephen Bird: golden handshake
Standard Life Aberdeen is handing its new boss a pay and bonus package worth up to £6.3 million – almost £2m more than the company veteran he is replacing.
Stephen Bird, 53, the former head of consumer banking at Citigroup, will receive an £875,000 basic salary, which will be topped up with performance-related bonuses worth up to £5.25m, split between an annual bonus and a long-term shares award.
He also receives £157,500 into his pension pot, together with other benefits.
The Scot takes over from Keith Skeoch who is stepping down after five years in charge. Mr Skeoch’s package was worth up to £4.4m.
He pulled together the company’s biggest deal when it joined forces in an £11bn merger with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017. Initially, he was co-chief executive with Martin Gilbert until Mr Gilbert left to take the chair at Revolut.
The size of Mr Bird’s pay deal may stir some concern among shareholder and consumer groups, particularly at a time when workers are losing jobs and facing pay cuts.
Standard Life Aberdeen has also been a keen advocate of curbing remuneration as part of its corporate governance test for companies in which it invests.
The board was last year forced to defend the remuneration deal agreed with Stephanie Bruce who was hired as chief financial officer on a £525,000 salary – 17% higher than her long-serving predecessor Bill Rattray – and will receive a recruitment award worth £750,000.
Mr Bird hails from Motherwell and worked for British Steel and GE Capital before joining Citigroup in 1998 as regional head of transaction services in Singapore. His career has taken him around the world, including Florida and New York.