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  • Standard Life Aberdeen to offer nine months of full pay for new parents
    The Guardian

    Standard Life Aberdeen to offer nine months of full pay for new parents

    Up to 200 Standard Life Aberdeen staff are expected to benefit from the new policy next year giving all new parents nine months of full pay. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PAInvestment group Standard Life Aberdeen is introducing one of the UK’s most generous parental leave policies, offering nine months of full pay for all new parents.The new policy, which comes into force on 1 January 2020, will apply to all new mothers and fathers working for the company, including those who adopt or have a child through a surrogate.Campaigners said the move was the sort of initiative that could help to close the country’s yawning gender pay gap, in which women are paid £260,000 less than men over their careers.Fathers and same-sex parents working for Standard Life Aberdeen will be able to take a full nine months of paid leave, without having to ask their partner to cut their time short or share their entitlement.Sam Smethers, chief executive of the women’s campaign group the Fawcett Society, said it was a “potentially transformational” policy for Standard Life Aberdeen employees. “It is at the generous end of the spectrum and extremely rare.”Rival insurer Aviva raised the bar in 2017 when it introduced equal parental leave for both parents and six months’ full pay, while management consultancy Accenture offers 36 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.Between 180 and 200 Standard Life Aberdeen staff are expected to benefit from the policy next year. The company would not confirm how much the new programme would cost, but it is likely to be about £5m a year.As of next year, new parents at Standard Life Aberdeen will be granted 52 weeks leave, 40 of which will be fully paid. Additional paid leave will be offered to parents whose child is born premature. Staff will also have the option of breaking their leave up into three separate periods over two years, and will be able to take advantage of the policy from their first day in the job.Sophie Walker, chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust charity, said: “It’s especially encouraging to see that this is a day one right, as far too many parents are currently missing out on paid parental leave because they haven’t worked at their employer for long enough.“If we’re ever going to close the gender pay gap and enable all parents to thrive in the workplace then it’s time for all employers to get serious about adopting parental leave and family-friendly policies which are fit for purpose.”Smethers said: “The reality is that even a relatively modest additional period of paid leave for dads at work would make a real difference. Families need to be able to make unconstrained choices about who does the caring. For most parents that simply isn’t possible at the moment.”Standard Life Aberdeen’s human resources chief, Rose Thomson, said: “Our new policy represents a potentially life-changing opportunity for new parents, whatever their family circumstances. We know that our people need to balance their work lives with their personal lives and this new policy is one example of the actions we’re taking to help them maintain that.” Other generous parental policies across the UK include:Aviva: 26 weeks of fully paid leave for both parentsUK civil service: 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leaveEtsy: 26 weeks of fully paid leave for both parentsAccenture: 36 weeks of fully paid maternity leaveTransport for London: 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leaveSource: Money Guru survey, January 2019

  • Standard Life Aberdeen eyes £30m IFA swoop on Grant Thornton
    Sky News

    Standard Life Aberdeen eyes £30m IFA swoop on Grant Thornton

    Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA), one of Britain's biggest asset managers, is in talks to snap up a unit of Grant Thornton (GT), the accountancy firm, that advises affluent clients on their financial affairs. Sky News has learnt that 1825, SLA's financial advice arm, has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy GT's wealth advisory business for approximately £30m. It would be a more significant transaction than its modest financial outlay would suggest because of the implied consequences for the future of both 1825 and GT, the UK's sixth-largest audit firm.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    MEDIA-Standard Life Aberdeen on lookout for takeovers - FuW

    ** Standard Life Aberdeen is on the lookout for acquisitions amid a consolidating asset management market, Vice Chairman Martin Gilbert tells Swiss paper Finanz und Wirtschaft ** "We are still digesting ...

  • Standard Life Aberdeen bruised by shareholder pay revolt
    The Guardian

    Standard Life Aberdeen bruised by shareholder pay revolt

    The Standard Life headquarters in Edinburgh. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images The insurer Standard Life Aberdeen has suffered a bruising shareholder revolt over the pay of its new finance chief, with more than two-fifths of investors voting against its remuneration report. At its annual general meeting in Edinburgh, 42% of Standard Life shareholders opposed the report in one of the biggest investor revolts in recent years, but the resolution was passed with nearly 58% backing it in an advisory vote. Shareholder advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had raised concerns about the pay package for Stephanie Bruce, who will become the new chief financial officer at the insurance and asset management firm on 1 June. She is joining from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, replacing Bill Rattray, who is retiring after more than 30 years at Standard Life. She will receive an annual salary of £525,000, more than the £450,000 her predecessor was paid, and will get an annual payment equivalent to 20% of salary in lieu of a pension. She is entitled to share awards up to 350% of salary under the executive incentive plan, which are dependent on performance. Glass Lewis said it viewed high fixed pay raises “with scepticism” because remuneration is “not directly linked to performance and may serve as a crutch when performance has fallen below expectations”. It also raised concerns over other elements of the pay package, while ISS criticised the performance conditions for not being “sufficiently stretching”. Standard Life said in a statement following the annual meeting: “We were aware that certain institutional shareholders were not supportive of specific aspects of the arrangements relating to the remuneration of the incoming CFO.” It added that it would continue to talk to investors about their concerns and would publish an update on these discussions within six months. It will seek approval from shareholders for a new pay policy at its 2021 meeting. The firm argued it had to offer Bruce that pay package to “attract a talented senior executive from outside of the investment management industry who was previously remunerated on a comparatively consistent annual reward package, without the significant deferral arrangements we apply”. It said before the meeting that it had sought to address shareholders’ concerns by linking Bruce’s £750,000 joining fee, which will be awarded in shares, to achieving the company’s cost-cutting targets. The company was formed from the 2017 merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in an £11bn all-share deal. Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk Before the meeting, Standard Life reported a 3% rise in assets under management and administration to £569bn in the first three months of the year. Inflows were boosted by £3.5bn of assets from Virgin Money, with which the company is launching a joint venture. Shareholder advisory group Pirc said: “As we hit the middle of May, peak AGM season in the UK, we’re starting to see a few sizeable oppose votes come through. Over the past week, a number of companies have been stung by major votes against pay, though actual defeats on the main market still stand at just one – [software company] Micro Focus.” Last week, Standard Chartered faced a big vote against its remuneration report of 36%. Including abstentions, the number of investors who failed to back it was 38%. The protest was directed against a change in how the bank calculates its top executives’ pensions.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Standard Life Aberdeen shareholders revolt over finance chief's pay

    More than 40% of shareholders in Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) voted against the company's pay report at its annual general meeting on Tuesday, which SLA said was due to concern about its new chief financial officer's (CFO) pay. SLA hired Stephanie Bruce from PwC in March on a basic salary of 525,000 pounds ($678,250). The pay report won 58% of shareholders' votes, SLA said in a statement.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Standard Life Aberdeen Q1 assets up 3 pct on market moves, deals

    Brtish asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen on Tuesday posted a 3% rise in first-quarter assets, as market gains and assets linked to recent deals more than offset currency losses and net outflows of client ...

  • UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen bought $100 million of Aramco bond - chairman
    Reuters

    UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen bought $100 million of Aramco bond - chairman

    RIYADH (Reuters) - UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen bought $100 million (£77 million) worth of Saudi Arabia state oil giant Aramco's debut international bond, the investment firm's chairman said ...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    U.K. asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen bought $100 mln of Aramco bond -chairman

    U.K. asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen bought $100 million worth of Saudi Arabia state oil giant Aramco's debut international bond, the investment firm's chairman said on Sunday. "I think it was ...

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