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Standard Life to Cut 139 Jobs in Move Away From Life Insurance

Standard Life Plc, Scotland’s biggest insurer, plans to cut 139 jobs at its U.K. unit as it switches away from selling traditional life-insurance policies.

Most of the jobs will go in Scotland and will be in the firm’s information technology, marketing and advisory divisions, Standard Life said today in a statement.

Standard Life is selling less life insurance and instead is focusing on products such as self-invested personal pensions and employee savings, which require the customer to bear the risk of the investment losing money rather than the Edinburgh-based firm. The company has cut costs while spending about 500 million pounds ($800 million) since 2010 on technology that it says will boost inflows into fee-based savings products.

“Our current model and structure has to change to meet the changing demands of this new world where customers will want to interact in different ways for different products,” Paul Matthews, Standard Life’s chief executive officer for U.K. and Europe, said in the statement

The stock was down 0.1 percent at 308.4 pence as of 11:16 a.m. today in London trading, valuing the insurer at about 7.3 billion pounds. Standard Life if the fifth best-performer in the U.K.’s benchmark FTSE 100 Index this year, rising 50 percent compared to the index’s 3 percent climb.

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