Standard Life With Profits Committee

Standard Life is committed to treating customers fairly and its With Profits Committee provides independent input to make sure with profits policyholders’ interests are protected. Here you’ll find out about the Committee and if you have a policy that was written in the UK why its work is important to you.

What does the With Profits Committee do?

The With Profits Committee provides advice to Standard Life on fair treatment for its with profits policyholders and raises any issues that it feels Standard Life needs to consider. Its duties cover the following:

Treating you fairly - Standard Life is responsible for the management of its with profits business. The Committee reviews the decisions that the company proposes to take to make sure they’re fair for all with profits policyholders. If it feels they’re not, it will challenge Standard Life to justify them.

Your expectations - Standard Life explains how it manages its with profits business in its Understanding With Profits booklets. These are based on a more detailed document called the Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM). The Committee checks that Standard Life is operating its business in the way described in the PPFM.

Speaking up for you - The Committee doesn’t deal with individual customer complaints or queries, but it regularly reviews information about with profits complaints to make sure Standard Life is treating customers fairly. If the Committee thinks there are any issues that Standard Life should be doing more about, it will raise them on your behalf.

Standard Life’s With Profits Actuary also has a responsibility to advise on the fair management of with profits business. The Committee discusses all relevant issues with the With Profits Actuary and it also has an independent actuarial adviser who normally attends all of their meetings.

The Committee meets at least six times a year and more frequently if required.

Read the With Profits Committee’s full Terms of Reference (PDF, 132kb)

 

How does the With Profits Committee make its views known?

At its meetings the Committee discusses its views and, where relevant, challenges the company’s proposed actions with relevant senior managers. The minutes of the meetings, setting out the Committee’s recommendations, are also sent to Standard Life’s Board, together with any additional reports from the Chairman of the Committee.

In addition, once a year the Committee provides Standard Life with its opinion on how the company managed its with profits business in the preceding year. The Committee considers in particular the fairness of how with profits policyholders have been treated and if the business has been managed in the way described in Standard Life’s PPFMs.

Standard Life takes the Committee’s views into account when it produces the company’s annual report to UK with profits policyholders. There is a separate report for each of Standard Life’s two with profits funds for its UK business.

As well as confirming the Committee’s opinion on how Standard Life has managed its with profits business, the company’s report highlights any issues that the Committee has identified as being of particular significance. If the Committee ever feels that it has any concerns on which it needs to provide policyholders with further information it will do so here.

The With Profits Committee’s terms of reference require that at least half of the members must be independent; amongst other restrictions these members must not be employed by Standard Life in any other role. All of the current Committee members are independent of Standard Life. Find out more about each of them below:

Niall Franklin – With Profits Committee Chairman

Niall is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries. He has been chairman of the With Profits Committee since its inception in 2006, following the demutualisation of Standard Life.

In 2012 he retired from lecturing undergraduates in actuarial mathematics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which he joined in 2004. Prior to that Niall worked in the insurance industry, as an actuarial consultant at Tillinghast Towers Perrin in London, Paris and Stockholm and as Finance Director for Aegon UK in Edinburgh.

Graham Aslet

Graham is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. He joined Friends Provident Life Office in 1969 and became the company's Appointed Actuary in 1987 and an Executive Director in 1988.

He retired from Friends Provident in 2004. Since 2004, Graham has built up a portfolio of non-executive appointments. In addition to being a member of Standard Life’s With Profits Committee, he currently is a non-executive director of BUPA Insurance Limited and Schroder Pension Management Limited.

Clifton Melvin

Clifton is an actuary with over 35 years experience of insurance and retail financial services.  He is the founder Chairman of online SIPP administration business Gaudi Ltd and also the Senior Independent Director of life insurance company Just Retirement. He is the Chairman of EcoHydra Technologies, a hand-hygiene business, and a Director of Saga Services Ltd.

Clifton, a fluent Spanish speaker, has held senior management positions with Axa, KPMG, GE Capital and Credit Suisse, where he was the Chief Executive of Winterthur Life UK from 2001 to 2003.

Ross Ainslie

Ross is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries, having qualified in 1993. He was Managing Director of Bright Grey and Scottish Provident from 2009 to 2012, having previously been Head of Actuarial for Bright Grey from 2002. He also held senior management positions with GeneralCologne Re, a specialised life reinsurer.

Ross has been a member of the Council of the Faculty of Actuaries and of the Faculty’s Social Policy Board and past chair of the Meetings Committee. He is also a non-executive director of Longevitas Ltd, an actuarial consultancy and software provider.

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