Standard Life Almost Doubles Compensation for CEO David Nish

Standard Life Plc almost doubled Chief Executive Officer David Nish’s pay to 5 million pounds ($7.6 million) in 2012 after Scotland’s biggest insurer boosted profit and shares surged.

Nish, 52, received a 775,000-pound salary, a bonus of 1.2 million pounds and three-year long-term incentives valued at

2.76 million pounds, the Edinburgh-based insurer said today in its annual report. The incentives will vest in June and are based on the firm’s performance in the three years through 2012.

Standard Life was the fifth-best performing member of the FTSE 100 Index last year as the company positioned itself to benefit from regulatory changes in the U.K.’s savings industry. The share price jumped 61 percent in 2012 and operating profit climbed 65 percent to 900 million pounds as the firm reaped the rewards for investing in information technology and making acquisitions over the previous three years.

“Given this financial performance and the progress made toward our key strategic priorities, the remuneration committee, in evaluating performance for the year, decided it was appropriate to award the executives close to maximum payments under the annual bonus arrangements,” said Crawford Gillies, chairman of the firm’s remuneration committee.

Nish will receive a 1.9 percent raise in his base salary to 790,000 pounds, “in line with the range of increases awarded to the wider workforce in Standard Life,” Gillies said. He received 2.6 million pounds in compensation for 2011.

Chief Financial Officer Jackie Hunt was awarded 2.54 million pounds for 2012 including the value of long-term incentives, a 71 percent increase on 2011. Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life’s investments division was paid 4.35 million pounds, up 65 percent from the previous year.

Retail investors own about 44 percent of Standard Life’s stock, following the company’s switch from being owned by its customers to a publicly traded company in 2006. Standard Life said in its annual report it advocates “the highest standards of corporate governance” in the U.K. stock market as one of its biggest investors.