Barfield to leave Standard Life

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The Independent Online

Dick Barfield, the high-profile chief investment manager at Standard Life, the largest mutual insurer in Europe with more than pounds 44bn under management, is to leave the company.

He will be replaced by John Thomson, who has been with the life office for 13 years, lately as assistant general manager in charge of development.

Standard Life said yesterday there were no hidden reasons for his departure, due at the end of June. Mr Barfield, who had been a campaigner for better corporate governance, had personally decided to seek alternative work outside the company, where he has worked for 26 years.

Sandy Crombie, general manager in charge of investment, to whom Mr Barfield reported, said: "I have accepted Dick's decision to leave with regret. He has served the company with distinction for more than 26 years and built for us a very successful investment team."

Mr Barfield said: "The time has come for me to have a change of direction. I feel very positive about the company ... and I am convinced that it will go from strength to strength both as an insurer and as a fund manager.

"My personal choice is for a change which allows me to use in a different capacity the knowledge and experience I have built up over many years."

During his eight years as chief investment manager, Mr Barfield built a reputation as a strong believer in the merits of better corporate governance among the companies Standard Life has invested in, devising the insurance office's policy on the subject earlier this year.