Halliday, who has been placed on garden leave, will officially vacate his post on 31 March having spent just over two years in the position. Oversight of the company’s Hong Kong operations will be handed to Neal Armstrong, chief executive of Standard Life Singapore, although ‘appointed’ positions for regulatory purposes will be confirmed at a later date.
Armstrong was appointed to lead Standard Life’s Singapore branch when the company opened the office in October 2012.
Speaking to International Adviser this morning, Alan Armitage, Standard Life CEO for Asia and emerging markets, said the change “takes out a single layer of the management structure”. He added that those below, who had previously reported to Halliday, would now report directly to him and had joined his management board.
Armitage also said the change was not indicative of a scaling back of the business in Hong Kong but rather a continuation of work carried out last year which saw it establish Hong Kong as a regional hub for its Asia emerging market operations.
“We’ve established a number of functions [in Hong Kong] which will support the three markets [Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore],” said Armitage.
“In addition we’ve been refining our strategic plans in recognition of the fact we have developed a leading financial advisory franchise in Hong Kong and we’re on track to doing similar in Singapore and Dubai. We really wanted to see how we can leverage more of that and also how we can adapt to the changing landscape of regulations and distribution practices etcetera.”
Standard Life reported in October last year that its new units in Dubai and Singapore had generated £52m of new business in the third quarter of 2013 and that it had also signed 41 distribution agreements during that period.
Click here to read a ‘Life trends’ profile with Dubai CEO Chris Divito published earlier this month.