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Standard Life prepares for major international expansion

Standard Life is assessing the options for embarking on an expansion of its international business.

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The company, which has a Dublin operation for the UK offshore market and a Hong Kong-based subsidiary targeting local intermediary business – as well as joint ventures in China and India – is exploring the possibility of extending distribution in Asia and into the Middle East.

A move into the European cross-border sector is also being considered, and the company is likely to widen its UK client base by providing services to resident non-domiciled individuals.

The international management team has recently been reshuffled to carry through the expansion project, with Alan Armitage (pictured), formerly chief executive of Standard Life Asia, being appointed ‘international take-to-market’ director.

Roy Halliday, new Hong Kong CEO, and Eric Bruce, international distribution manager, are working with him on the plans, as well as other figures such as Nigel Dunne, CEO of Standard Life International.

Armitage said discussions had been held with various regulators, although no applications for new licences had yet been lodged.

The Standard Life group has committed an initial budget to the plans, which are described as being at an “analysis and strategy stage”.

New products for the UK and Hong Kong market are likely to be the first tangible manifestation of the growth strategy, and may come as early as the first quarter of this year.

According to Standard Life, data from the UK’s Association of British Insurers showed it had an 11.1% share of the UK offshore bond market in the third quarter of 2010, ranking it third in terms of market share.

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