Standard Life Aberdeen is due to announce Sir Douglas Flint as its new chairman in the coming weeks, following the announcement that current chairman Gerry Grimstone would be stepping down next year.
The group had been searching for a successor, which it planned to name next year, but finished the hunt ahead of schedule after choosing former HSBC chairman Flint, according to the FT.
Flint stepped down as HSBC chairman in September 2017 after six years at the helm with former chief executive Stuart Gulliver. Prior to that, he was finance director at the bank.
He found himself in the heat of the threat of a money-laundering scandal in 2011 and ill-judged acquisitions before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis but as chairman he was respected in the City for dealing with regulators.
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SLA’s deputy chairman Simon Troughton and non-executive director Melanie Gee led the process to identify and appoint the Edinburgh-based company’s new chairman and believe Flint to be “the best candidate” according to sources.
However, they are yet to formalise his recommendation, which must then be approved by the board. If the appointment goes ahead, Flint’s key priority will be to revamp the asset manager’s executive team.
Other contenders in the running for chairman have been rumoured to be Kevin Parry, SLA’s senior independent director and Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
SLA announced in February that Grimstone would be stepping down by no later than the end of 2019, although he is expected to depart much sooner.
This article first appeared in Investment Week