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Battle is on as Standard action group wins chance of a vote

The gloves are off in the
battle to keep Standard Life mutual following

the action group&#39s successful req^_uest
for a vote on demutualisation.

Standard Life chairman John Trott told 200 members at Tuesday&#39s annual

general meeting it had received a “requisition” from the Standard Life

Members&#39 Action Group on demutualisation which, at first sight, it believes

is valid. If valid, a special general meeting will be called within the

next three months to vote on the issue.

The move could net a 15bn windfall with the 2.3 million policyholders

qualifying for payouts of around 6,000 each.

But Standard Life is vowing to fight to stave off the threat of

demutualisation and stresses the board is unanimously in favour of staying

mutual.

It needs to stop 75 per cent of members voting in favour of converting to

a plc or the board will be forced to start demutualisation proceedings.

A straw poll by Money Marketing in February revealed 75 per cent of IFAs

support Standard Life&#39s bid to stay mutual.

Standard Life director of corporate affairs Gordon Arthur says: “We added

a question
on demutualisation to some
market research a couple of

months ago and 49.6 per cent were undecided and 23 per cent were in favour

of remaining mutual but we have not told our side of the story yet.”

SLMAG co-ordinator Fred Woollard says: “The battle has just begun. We

believe policyholders are smart enough to work out it will be in their

interests, regardless of what propaganda Standard Life puts out. But we

will not be complacent because it is not going to be easy to get 75 per

cent of the vote.”

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