THE ELECTION of the new board at Standard Life features in a couple of this morning's papers.
The Scotsman reports ‘rebel’ Standard Life member Michael Hogan as saying he wants to make another move to win a seat on the board next year, after being "staggered" by support for his bid this time round.
Hogan pulled in almost 67,000 votes against an average 206,500 among the current board. However, the Scotsman reports him as saying that fellow policyholders were "thrilled" with the result, which he believes demonstrates a groundswell of dissatisfaction with those re-elected.
Some 240,000 of the group’s 2.5 million members voted - 18 per cent up on last year and a record at any Standard Life annual general meeting.
Trevor Matthews, the chief executive of Standard Life’s linchpin life and pensions business, appointed from outside the group last year, amassed the largest number of votes at more than 214,100. Former demutualisation campaigner David Stonebanks, who stood in protest of Hogan’s involvement, attracted 23,500.
Questioned on the result, chairman Sir Brian Stewart conceded support for Hogan had been "perhaps marginally higher" than expected, reports the paper. That followed a barrage of criticism from members over investment performance, directors’ remuneration and lack of clear detail on the insurance giant’s demutualisation programme.
The Guardian says despite fending off attempts by two rebel members to get on to the board Standard Life was criticised by some angry policyholders over its "abysmal" investment performance.
The paper says Sandy Crombie, the chief executive, at the insurer's annual meeting in Edinburgh yesterday, spoke candidly about the "painful" period the company had been through, during which it had cut payouts to with-profits policyholders, abandoned its previous pledge to remain a mutual and cut hundreds of jobs
MEANWHILE a report in The Times says Egg has undertaken a clear-out of senior staff, including its finance director, to save £12 million a year as the internet bank announced a fall of one-third in profits at its core UK unitThe company announced that Mike Harris, its executive vice-chairman, will not be replaced when he quits next January.
Egg also revealed the departure next month of David Doyle, who was appointed finance director 18 months ago. Doyle "played a key role" in preparing Egg for sale when Prudential attempted, and failed, to dispose of its 70 per cent stake last year, reports the paper.
His responsibilities will be taken on by Mark Nancarrow, the Egg chief operating officer, who will, with Paul Gratton, the bank’s chief executive, be one of two executive directors left on the board.IFAonline
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