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Skeoch to step down as SLA chief executive

Skeoch to step down as SLA chief executive
 Keith Skeoch, outgoing chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen

Keith Skeoch is set to step down as chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen after five years at the company's helm. 

In a statement this morning (June 30) Standard Life Aberdeen announced Mr Skeoch would be replaced by Stephen Bird, who until last year headed up global consumer banking at Citigroup. 

Mr Bird will join the company's board this week and will take over the reins from the outgoing chief executive after a handover period later this year. 

Mr Skeoch leaves the Standard Life Aberdeen board after 14 years as a director and five years as chief executive, a position he shared with Martin Gilbert until March last year. 

He is expected to serve out a 12 month notice period with the company as non-executive chairman of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Research Institute on an annual salary of £615,000.

Mr Skeoch said: "It has been a real privilege to serve on the board for the last 14 years and in particular the last five as chief executive.  

"I know Stephen well and will leave my current role knowing the company is in great hands. He will have my full support during transition, as he will have on an ongoing basis from the great team which has supported me."

Sir Douglas Flint, SLA's chairman, said: "I want to recognise Keith's great leadership over the past five years as both our chief executive and for a period as co-chief executive.  

"He guided the company through its transformation arising from the merger with Aberdeen Asset Management and the deal with Phoenix Group amidst significant change in our industry.  

"He has been a decisive and empathetic leader during the Covid-19 crisis and has supported the transition to new leadership selflessly, recognising that the post-Covid world brings a wide range of fresh longer-term opportunities and challenges that are best taken forward with leadership succession settled."

Mr Bird spent 21 years at Citigroup, including heading up operations in Asia and South America. 

When he joins the Standard Life Aberdeen board on July 1 Mr Bird will receive a base annual salary of £875,000, with bonus entitlements of up to 250 per cent of this figure depending on performance. 

Mr Bird said: "This is a company with a great history, a strong brand and an exciting future. The current crisis has highlighted the importance of active asset management as well as building greater resilience into personal financial planning.

"SLA's leading asset management, platforms and wealth capabilities give great scope to help clients and customers navigate these challenges; this is what attracted me to the company."

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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