Standard Life: second service: Standard Life, the financial services group that sponsors tennis player Andy Murray, is changing its Chief Executive. Out goes David Nish after six years, in comes Keith Skeoch, head of the company’s investment business. The succession looks as seamless as Standard Life’s transition from traditional life insurer to global asset Manager. But the changeover reveals much about a group whose name no longer reflects its focus. The strategy has paid off. Group assets under management have soared and Standard Life shares have returned more than 190% since Mr Nish took over. It has attracted admirers. Euan Munro, who ran one of Standard Life’s more popular investment products, was poached in 2013 to run Aviva Investors. And Old Mutual hopes its bet on U.K. wealth Manager Quilter Cheviot will help close the 40% valuation gap between itself and Standard Life, whose strongly performing investments business last year accounted for half of group revenue. Mr Skeoch is well suited to run a company that looks more like money Managers BlackRock and Fidelity than a traditional life insurer. Low interest rates — and, in the U.K., pension reforms — are boosting the popularity of investment products. Mr Nish was the man for the knock-up. His successor must continue to outsmart the competition. Your serve, Mr Skeoch.
Osborne mulls further change to annuity rules: Chancellor George Osborne is considering including a further shake-up of pensions rules in his crucial pre-election Budget next week, to allow pensioners to sell their existing annuities for cash.
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