£2.5m pay deal for head of Standard Life

The head of Standard Life received total salary, bonuses and share awards of about £2.5m last year, an increase of 30 per cent, even though the group's shares fell last year.

The insurer's chief executive David Nish got just over £2m in pay and bonuses, and also received 235,000 Standard Life shares worth about £530,000 at current prices under a long-term management incentive scheme.

The incentive programme, which sets awards based on performance over a three-year period, did not pay out in 2010, when Mr Nish's salary and bonus package rose 66 per cent compared with the previous year to £1.97m.

Shares in Standard Life, Britain's fifth-biggest insurer, which last month reported a forecast-beating 28 per cent rise in its 2011 profit, fell 4.6 per cent last year.

Many European insurers reported flat or lower profit for 2011, hit by writedowns on distressed euro zone government bonds and a surge in claims triggered by a spate of natural disasters.

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