Sandy Begbie new CEO at Scottish Financial Enterprise

Sandy Begbie

Standard Life Aberdeen veteran Sandy Begbie has been appointed the new chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the representative body for the financial services industry in Scotland.

Financial services in Scotland employ over 160,000 people directly and indirectly, manage over £800 billion of funds, and account for 24% of all UK employment in life assurance and 13% of all banking employment.

Begbie will join SFE on October 1, 2020, and work alongside current chief executive Graeme Jones who is retiring at the end of this year following five years in the role.

“Most recently, Sandy developed the Young Person Guarantee implementation plan for the Scottish Government in response to rising youth unemployment as a result of the coronavirus crisis …” said SFE.

“Until August, Sandy was chief transformation officer at Tesco Bank where he led the strategic change programme for the previous 18 months. 

“Prior to this he was responsible for the Global People, Organisation and Culture Integration at Standard Life Aberdeen. 

“Before the merger with Aberdeen Asset Management, Sandy was Chief People Officer and Lead Executive for China and Hong Kong for Standard Life.

“He also held similar positions with Aegon, Scottish Power and the Royal Bank of Scotland.”

Scottish Financial Enterprise chair Philip Grant said: “An innovative and progressive financial services sector is vital for Scotland’s economy and SFE plays a central role in the development of the value of the sector.

“This has never been more important as we turn our attention to securing a long-term and sustainable recovery that can support the society in which we wish to live.

“I am delighted that Sandy will be leading the SFE team as CEO.

“He is taking over from Graeme with the organisation on a strong footing, having experienced a 25% increase in membership over the last five years and delivered an ambitious strategy to strengthen Scottish financial services.

“SFE has an important role to play in the response to the COVID-19 crisis and Scotland’s economic and societal recovery. 

“Sandy is an outstanding leader with the right balance of experience to lead SFE.

“He brings an extensive network and strong credentials in delivering successful strategic programmes for corporate and third sector organisations as well as government.

“I’m confident he will continue the momentum in developing SFE and its contribution to shaping the sector and the recovery of the economy in Scotland with the support of our active membership and through collaboration with partners.”

Begbie said: “I’m a big believer that the private sector is a force for good and makes a positive contribution to the fabric of society.

“I’m passionate about the difference financial services can make to people’s lives and joining Scottish Financial Enterprise provides an opportunity to help the industry make a greater impact here in Scotland.

“I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with SFE members and building on the good work Graeme and the board have done.

“Given the current environment, it’s important that SFE has the right voice and influence to respond to the world we find ourselves in.”

SFE’s chief executive search process was managed by advisory search firm Carlyle.