Ex-Standard Life boss to join Vodafone

David Nish will become a non-executive director. Picture: Jon Savage
David Nish will become a non-executive director. Picture: Jon Savage
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The former boss of Standard Life is to join Vodafone as a non-executive director, the mobile telecoms giant announced yesterday.

David Nish, who stepped down on 5 August as chief executive of the Edinburgh‑based life and pensions group after six years at the helm, will join Vodafone on 1 January.

Gerald Kleisterlee, the group’s chairman, said: “David is a highly experienced business leader who helped build Standard Life into one of the UK’s largest asset managers, delivering significant returns to shareholders.

“His financial expertise and capital market skills will be a complementary addition to the board and I am delighted to welcome him to Vodafone.”

Nish joined Standard Life as finance director in 2006, after having held the same post at energy utility ScottishPower from 1999 to 2005.

During his tenure as chief executive the life assurer returned £3.7bn to shareholders. while the group’s stock market value jumped to £9.3 billion from £4.8bn,

In a busy final year, he oversaw the sale of Standard Life’s Canadian business to Manulife Financial for £2.2bn, and the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management for £390m.

Nish stepped down the day after Standard Life posted a 6 per cent rise in half-time operating profits to £290m, to be replaced by Keith Skeoch, the head of the group’s fund management arm. He earned a total pay package last year of £5.4m, and is on garden leave until end-March 2016, during which time he is prohibited from taking any new executive job.

Nish is also a non-executive director of the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank. He caused controversy during the Scottish independence referendum last year when he warned that he could move some business operations out of the country in the event of a Yes vote.