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Crombie says mutuality is not the firm&#39s mantra

In a dramatic U-turn, new Standard Life chief executive Sandy Crombie says the company&#39s board has never been “religiously associated” with its mutual status and is ready to reconsider.

In an interview with Money Marketing this week, Crombie says Standard&#39s board feels strongly that the “set of conditions” emerging in the market look different and that the board does not hold to a “mantra” that mutuality is the only condition, saying that its only mantra is to do what is appropriate for the time.

The company has in the past vigorously adhered to its mutual status in the face of attacks from carpetbaggers.

Alan Steel Asset Management consultant Alan Adam says he believes Standard&#39s current board would be committed to mutuality but has had its hand forced by the FSA&#39s new accounting regime. He says that as a result of the Equitable Life debacle, the FSA believes that mutuals can too easily hide their true financial situation.

Crombie says: “I do not think the board has ever been religiously associated with the status, it has been very keen to see its duty performed by recommending what it would consider would be the best status for the conditions.”

Adam says: “I think we will see more of the mut-uals disappearing. Demutualising will solve all Standard&#39s problems and get the FSA off its back. Mutuality is probably a thing of the past in this day and age.”


Royal London says Standard issue is not a mutual trend

Mutual insurer Royal London says the problems that Standard Life is facing are not industrywide.Royal London says the issues that the FSA has identified with Standard Life are specific to Standard and will not have an impact on Royal London.It says it has had routine discussions with the FSA over the development of its own […]

Willetts lays out Tory pension plans

Shadow Pensions Secretary David Willetts has announced the Conservative Party&#39s plans to tackle the pensions crisis, reiterating a commitment that a Tory Government would scrap the State Second Pension and cut the social security budget using the savings to raise the state pension and restore the earnings link.

Sandy Crombie

Standard Life&#39s new chief executive Sandy Crombie is an oasis of calm, sitting serenely in the eye of the media hurricane currently whirling around him.The son of a paper mill worker, who went to work for Standard straight out of school at 17, Crombie now finds himself heading up Europe&#39s biggest mutual insurer.“When you have […]

ISIS report spotlights labour standards at ICT companies

While information and communication technology companies have high standards in dealing with environmental issues their tackling of labour standards lags significantly behind according to ISIS Asset Management. The report into the management of social and environmental issues in the supply and disposal chains of ICT companies analysed 11 companies including Canon, Dell, Nokia and Phillips.


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