Former insurance chief Sir Sandy Crombie takes arts job

image captionSir Sandy is also Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust chairman

The former chief executive of Standard Life has been appointed as the first chairman of Creative Scotland.

Sir Sandy Crombie, now an independent director at the Royal Bank of Scotland, will take on the four-year role at the new Scottish government arts body.

The position will officially begin when Creative Scotland's first board is established in July.

Sir Sandy, who retired from Standard Life in 2009, will be paid £250 per day for up to 10 days each month.

'Promote excellence'

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "Sir Sandy's business acumen, combined with a strong appreciation of the creative sector, will provide strong leadership for the new board, driving forward Creative Scotland's agenda to support, promote and develop quality and excellence in the arts and cultural sector, in Scotland and internationally."

Sir Sandy is also chairman of the Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust and vice chairman of the board of governors of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

He received a knighthood for services to insurance in the 2009 New Year Honours.

After joining Standard Life as a trainee actuary, Sir Sandy was appointed chief executive of Standard Life Investments when it was launched in 1998 and was appointed group chief executive in 2004.

Sir Sandy said he was "delighted" to be able to lead the board from its inception.

"The Scottish government has shown a commitment to investing in arts, culture and the creative industries and I look forward to working with my new board, and with other organisations working in this field, and to producing a return on that investment for the benefit of our country," he said.

Ms Hyslop also announced Creative Scotland's new board members.

They are Prof Robin MacPherson, from Edinburgh Napier University; Gwilym Gibbons, director of Shetland Arts Development Agency; musician and academic Dr Gary West; journalist Ruth Wishart; Steve Grimmond, Fife Council executive director; Barclay Price, director of Arts and Business Scotland; Prof Gayle McPherson, from Glasgow Caledonian University; and Peter Cabrelli, from the board of Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd.

She said the board was selected from a "large number of high quality applications" and was a "diverse group of skilled, knowledgeable and talented people".

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