Standard Life took its time selecting a successor to John Thomson, who stepped down as chief investment officer 18 months ago. Since then the insurance company has set up a stand-alone company to manage its pounds 65bn asset mountain, Standard Life Investments (SLI).
Sandy Crombie, chief executive of SLI, says they were determined to get the right person to pursue their ambitious plan - to grow assets to pounds 100bn within five years.
Mr Skeoch, 42, joined James Capel (now HSBC Securities) in 1980 and held a number of top economics posts. Krishna Patel, HSBC Securities' chief executive, holds no grudges about his departure: "We recognise that the chance to become CIO of Standard Life Investments is too good an opportunity to miss."