The decision was taken after a rigorous succession planning process, the firm said. Skeoch will also retain his role as head of SLI, “until a transition is effected”.
According to a statement to the stock exchange, Standard Life said the execution of its strategy has accelerated over the last year and this has led to discussions between Nish and the board of directors about senior leadership development and succession planning “to continue the delivery of our strategy.”
“One of the most important responsibilities of a chief executive is recognising both the right time to pass the baton and also to help ensure it is passed on to the right person. Now is the right time for both the group and myself,” Nish said.
Nish, was appointed chief executive on 1 January 2010, after having served as chief financial officer at the firm from 2006 and since his appointment market cap has risen from £4.8bn to £9.3bn, while group assets under administration have risen from £170.1bn to £311.9bn.
And, in the last year Nish has overseen the sale of Standard Life’s Canadian businesses and the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management.
Skeoch has been with the firm since 1999, first at chief investment officer at Standard Life Investments and then from 2004 onwards chief executive of SLI.
Skeoch said: “Standard Life has been both transformed and simplified in recent years. This has put the fundamentals in place to build a world class business with investment management at its heart, serving savers and investors through our strong and innovative distribution channels.”