The head of Standard Life’s corporate business resigned from the Edinburgh-based life and pensions giant yesterday after less than a year in the role.
Ronnie Taylor, who had been with the group since 1997, was appointed as managing director of its “workplace” division in August, and is understood to be taking up a senior position at rival Scottish Widows.
The announcement took the pensions industry by surprise. Chris Hitchens, chief executive of consultancy Platform People, said in a tweet that he was “shocked” by the move.
In January, Standard Life unveiled plans to cut 38 posts in Edinburgh, less than two months after announcing the capital would bear the brunt of 139 job losses as part of a restructuring of its UK business.
Taylor was named head of workplace following a management shake-up last year and replaced Stephen Ingledew, who became managing director of customer and marketing.
Standard Life said its workplace business runs 35,000 pension schemes with 1.2 million members and has more than £24.5 billion of assets under administration.
Along with pensions, the business provides employee benefits such as private medical insurance and life cover.
Paul Matthews, group chief executive for the UK and Europe, said he would take on Taylor’s responsibilities, with support from Ingledew, until a successor is appointed.
Matthews said: “I would like to thank Ronnie for his contribution to Standard Life and wish him well.
“We will announce his replacement in the near future and, in the meantime, I will lead our workplace business with the support of Stephen Ingledew, Richard Charnock, and the workplace management team.”
He added: “We will continue to build on Standard Life’s market-leading position, delivering solutions that meet the needs of employers and employees around the UK while growing our business.”
Taylor also stood down as chief executive of Vebnet, the employee benefits’ management company acquired by Standard Life for £24.2m in 2008. Vebnet had joined Aim in 2003.