Standard Life Aberdeen to sell insurance arm to Phoenix in £3bn deal

Martin Gilbert

Edinburgh-based Standard Life Assurance Limited, one of the UK’s oldest insurance companies having been founded in 1825, is to be sold for £3.24bn.

The business, which has about 3,000 staff, is being purchased by Phoenix Group.

Announcing the deal, Edinburgh-based parent company Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) said it would receive £2.3 billion in cash and a 19.9 per cent stake in Phoenix.

SLA said the move completed its move out of insurance to concentrate on asset management.

As part of the deal, SLA said it would expand the companies’ existing strategic partnership and look to be “the asset manager of choice” for Phoenix.

SLA co-Chief Executives Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch, said: “Today’s announcement represents a logical next step in Standard Life Aberdeen’s journey to build a world-class investment company positioning us strongly for the future.”

Phoenix, which is a consolidator of life assurance platforms and operates mostly out of Birmingham, has said about 57 per cent of the new, enlarged workforce will be in Scotland.

The company has committed to retaining its operational headquarters in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, Standard Life Aberdeen has also announced a number of board changes.

Gerry Grimstone, former Standard Life chairman and chairman of the newly merged company, will stand down by the end of 2019.

Julie Chakraverty, Lynne Peacock and Akira Suzuki will also retire from the board after its next annual general meeting.

This will leave the Standard Life Aberdeen board with two women and eleven men.

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