Scottish Friendly circles the wagons as high-profile departures raise questions

Calum Bennie
Calum Bennie

Staff turnover at Scottish Friendly has come in for scrutiny following a series of high-profile departures at the finance firm.

The Glasgow-based mutual has been forced to deny that with finance director, Liam Gilmore, suddenly quitting, and chief risk officer Pete Docherty also moving on after less than six months, while another executive is on long-term sick leave, that its stock of key staff is coming under pressure as morale languishes.

According to one source quoted by the Herald newspaper staff morale is “extremely low” at the which employs around 100 people at its Blythswood Square headquarters.

The source explained that turnover of staff was high adding: “Finance have lost a huge number of staff recently, as have actuarial. The external story is all rosy, but delve underneath and questions need to be asked about the leadership.”

However, countering those observations, Calum Bennie, communications manager at Scottish Friendly, said: “Our executive team has been and remains stable with level of longterm service that is quite unusual for a financial services organisation. However, like employees up and down the country, the personal circumstances of Scottish Friendly staff can change. Turnover in personnel is all part of the natural ebb and flow of any business.”

He added: “While we are not in a position to comment on specific issues relating to individual cases, we don’t recognise any claims about low morale.”

On the claim that the company’s leadership style was creating stresses, Mr Bennie said: “There will be challenges for everybody to work with, that is business life.

“The strong growth of Scottish Friendly over the past few years and in recent months has been underpinned by our dedicated, experienced and stable senior management team and that continues to be the case.”

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