Most IFAs believe Standard Life should demutualise and would rather see it demutualise than sell off subsidiaries such as Standard Life Healthcare and Standard Life Bank, according a Money Marketing Online survey.
Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents to the online survey believe Europe's biggest mutual insurer should abandon mutuality and 47 per cent believe it should have demutualised in 2000. But 66 per cent of the 318 respondents do not want Standard to sell its subsidiaries SLHC or Standard Life Bank rather than demutualise. There was a three-way split on who was to blame for the decision to review mutual status, with 31 per cent blaming the FSA, 34 per cent pointing to Standard's board and 35 per cent saying it was a combination of the two.
Standard Life director of corporate affairs Gordon Arthur says: “It is important that the strategic review, which has only just started, undertakes a wide-ranging examination of all the options available to ensure continued success for Standard Life. We do not think that there is any value in speculating on the possible outcomes until the review has concluded”.
Towry Law product research manager Simon Farrant says: “I agree that it is better to demutualise now on balance but not for the reason of free shares. Demutualisation now looks the most reasonable course.”