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Death of former Standard Life chief Scott Bell

Former Standard Life managing director Scott Bell died last week, aged 65.

Bell was one of the generation that worked at Standard Life for his entire career, having joined the mutual in 1958, qualifying as an assistant actuary in 1966.

He helped build Standard’s strong reputation for service standards, making it one of the most popular choices among advisers for investment and pension business.

Bell retired in March 2002, having been at Standard for 44 years, and was succeeded by Iain Lumsden.

During his tenure, Standard fought for with-profits business aggressively but it also expanded into other areas, notably launching Standard Life Healthcare, Standard Life Bank and Standard Life Investments.

Despite Bell’s low-key approach, he was one of the strongest advocates of mutuality in the life insurance sector, defeating a demutualisation challenge in 2000. In an interview with Money Marketing in June 2000, he said: “I have always believed very strongly that mutuality represents the best structure as it allows the benefits to be passed down from generation to generation without the costs incurred by a plc.”

Standard Life spokesman Scott White says: “All at Standard Life will be saddened to hear of the death of Scott Bell. He will be remembered by many as one of the key figures in our history, whose wisdom and leadership helped to form the Standard Life that we know today.”

Jamieson Financial Management principal Bruce Jamieson says: “I think in many ways he was the man who put Standard Life on the map in the modern era. I always think of him as a decent, straightforward chap and they are few and far between.”

Obituary by former Standard Life chief executive Jim Stretton at


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