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Standard Life plc (Template:Lse) is a financial services institution based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Formerly a mutual society, since 15 September 2006, the company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

HistoryEdit

The Standard Life Assurance Company ("Standard Life") was established in 1825[1] and the first Standard Life Assurance Company Act was passed by Parliament in 1832.[1] Standard Life was reincorporated as a mutual assurance company in 1925.[1]

The Standard Life group originally operated only through branches or agencies of the mutual company in the United Kingdom and certain other countries. Its Canadian branch was founded in 1833 and its Irish operations in 1838. This largely remained the structure of the group until 1996, when it opened a branch in Frankfurt, Germany with the aim of exporting its UK life assurance and pensions operating model to capitalise on the opportunities presented by EC Directive 92/96/EEC (the “Third Life Directive”) and offer a product range in that market with features which local providers were unable to offer.[1] In the 1990s, the group also sought to diversify its operations into areas which complemented its core life assurance and pensions business, with the intention of positioning itself as a broad range financial services provider.

In 2006, Standard Life's members voted for the demutualisation of The Standard Life Assurance Company and Standard Life plc was floated on the London Stock Exchange.[2]

OperationsEdit

Standard Life has in excess of seven million customers worldwide, with five million in the United Kingdom. Of these, 2.6 million are with profits members of the mutual. There are 8,500 UK-based employees.[3]

Standard Life operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and globally with Standard Life Investments. Standard Life offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services which are designed to meet the changing needs of its customers. These include savings, investments, mortgages, healthcare products and individual and corporate pension plans.

Standard Life is a market leader in the market of Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and has distribution agreements for its SIPP with Barclays, Alexander Forbes, Fidelity, UBS and HSBC.[4]

AwardsEdit

Standard Life Assurance Limited was voted the Best Personal Pension Provider at the Money Marketing Awards 2004 - 2008 inclusive. [5]

In September 2007 Standard Life was awarded "Best Wrap Platform" at the Pensions Management - Technology, Administration and Service Awards ceremony. At the same event Standard Life also won the "People's Choice" award for the company that delivered the best technology, administration and service in the industry.[5]

In February 2007 Standard Life was awarded "Best Overall Platform 2007" at adnitor's Platform Awards Ceremony. The company was also Highly Commended for Best Intermediary Platform Service Provider 2007.[5]

Financial Technology Research Centre (FTRC) awarded Standard Life's Wrap an 'ee' rating soon after the launch in May 2006 and enhancing this to an 'eee' rating in November 2006. In May 2008 the company retained the ?eee' rating by FTRC for the third year in a row. Standard Life remainsthe only Wrap provider to have this rating.[5]

Standard Life's legal team won the 'In- house Team of the Year' award at the Legal Business Magazine Awards 2007, at a ceremony in the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 8 February 2007. The award recognises the work of Standard Life's legal team throughout the company's demutualisation and flotation, culminating in the year's biggest IPO in July 2006, valued at £4.65bn. The award was accepted on behalf of the team by Malcolm Wood, Standard Life Company Secretary and General Counsel.[6]

FTAdviser Online Service awards 2008 - 5 Star Award in the Mortgage Providers & Packagers category at the FTAdviser Online Service Awards.[7]

Best Self-Certification Mortgage Provider - Moneyfacts Awards 2007[7]

11th Annual Webby Awards (2007) - Official Honoree[7]

Gold Standard rating - Mortgage Strategy Awards (2006)[7]

10th Annual Webby Awards (2006) - Official Honoree[7]

Mortgage Magazine Awards 2006 - Best Flexible Mortgage Lender[7]

Best Self-Certification Mortgage Provider - Moneyfacts Awards 2006[7]

Best Notice Business Account Provider - Business Moneyfacts Awards 2006[7]

ControversyEdit

In January 2006, Standard Life were accused of smearing a policy-holder, Michael Hogan, who was not happy with the way the company was being run. An e-mail sent to Standard Life executives and advisors (which was disclosed under the Data Protection Act) revealed an attempt to discredit him.[8]

In January 2007, the head of Standard Life's life and pensions business, Trevor Matthews, used the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" while giving a presentation at one of the company's Edinburgh offices. After issuing an apology, Mr Matthews remained in his job and no disciplinary action was taken. [9]

In March 2007 the company announced it would cut 1,000 jobs in an attempt to save an additional £100 million per year in costs[3]. One month later it was highlighted in the company's annual report that three of Standard Life's top executives (Sandy Crombie, Keith Skeoch and Trevor Matthews) were awarded more than £5 million in pay.[10] A Standard Life spokesman defended the awards, citing the leadership's efforts in turning round the company's fortunes.[10]

In May 2007, Standard Life sent numerous policy documents out to the wrong customers. Up to 300 people had their personal and financial details made public, causing fears of identity theft.[11] The company pledged to step up security procedures after the error.[11]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Standard Life History
  2. Strong demand for Standard Life shares
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named times
  4. Notable Standard Life SIPP clients.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Standard Life awards1
  6. Standard Life awards2
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Standard Life awards3
  8. Is Standard Life fighting fair?
  9. Standard Life boss says 'I'm so sorry' over racist remark
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fury at £5m for Standard Life bosses
  11. 11.0 11.1 Identity theft fears after SL letters blunder

External linksEdit

Template:Companies portal Template:Coord Template:FTSE 100 Index constituentsde:Standard Life fr:Standard Life Template:Major insurance companies

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