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Standard Life to part ways with Alison Reed

LONDON – Alison Reed, the finance director of Standard Life looks all set to leave the company less than two years after joining it, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper. Reed’s move is being seen as a part of a major boardroom reshuffle at the life and pensions group, which floated recently on the stock exchange.

It appears a sensitive period for Standard Life, which is set to announce its first interim figures next week. The Edinburgh-based company may announce the departure of Reed as early as December, although she could stay on till a successor is found. Standard Life declined to comment on these speculations.

Analysts are yet to make up their minds on whether Standard Life will in fact be able to match rivals Prudential or Legal & General on an even keel. “It’s a long haul. They got themselves into a pothole a few years ago and it’s going to take a long time to get out of it,” said Roman Cizdyn at brokers Oriel. “It will take some years.”

Reed stands to make £900,000 when she does pack up and Sir Brian Stewart, the group chairman is also expected to step down soon. Also Sandy Crombie, Standard Life’s chief executive has retirement plans on the anvil in two years’ time. All in all analysts say the group is facing “challenging succession issues.”

Reed was a former finance director of Marks & Spencer and joined Standard Life in April 2005 when the group was looking for a finance director for nine months. Retail analysts were surprised by her choice since they felt she would not fit in with the floatation plans.

Prudential’s head of risk, Andy Crossley, is thought to be the perfect successor to Reed.

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