Scotland business

Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch cuts own bonus

Keith Skeoch Image copyright Standard Life
Image caption Mr Skeoch took over as chief executive during last year

The chief executive of Standard Life has voluntarily given up almost £600,000 of his bonus for next year.

A week ahead of its AGM, the Edinburgh-based group said Keith Skeoch had opted to take a bonus package worth 400% of his basic salary, rather than 500%.

Standard Life's annual report, published earlier this year, showed Mr Skeoch receiving a salary of £574,000, plus taxable benefits worth £36,000.

In addition to that was a bonus package taking the total to more than £3.64m.

Mr Skeoch took over as chief executive during last year, having received more than £5.88m in pay and bonus for 2014, when he was chief executive of Standard Life Investments.

His predecessor in the more senior role of Standard Life chief executive, David Nish, received pay and bonus for 2014 of just over £6m, making him the highest paid salaried businessman in Scotland.

Mr Nish received a base salary of more than £800,000, while Mr Skeoch has a lower base salary of £700,000. The lower figure for 2015 - £574,000 - reflects his transition during the year from the investments division to the top job.

Standard Life Investments, as one of the most powerful investors in British listed companies, has taken an active role in paring back executive pay for the companies in which it invests.

In recent years, in that role of shareholder, it has voted against the remuneration report presented by companies to their annual general meetings, at Barclays, HSBC, BP and advertising firm WPP.

RBS bonus

Also on Wednesday, Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed plans by its chief executive Ross McEwan to pay half of his annual bonus to charity.

The Edinburgh-based lender allocated shares worth £265,000 after tax.

Half of these will be distributed to charity over the next five years, and half to Mr McEwan. RBS declined to say which charities will benefit.

Such awards are made twice a year, and the shares allocated on Wednesday cover the six months to the end of June.

According to the annual report, Mr McEwan was due to receive a total of £3.8m for pay and bonuses related to his work at RBS in 2015.

Of that, £1m was in salary, £1m was in annual bonus, his pension contribution was worth £350,000, and £1.35m was in the release of long-term incentive shares, allocated for 2013.

At the end of last year, Mr McEwan had 975,000 shares in RBS and two million held for several years as an incentive to maintain company performance. The share price closed on Wednesday at 213 pence.

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