Many Standard Life Aberdeen staff ‘won’t get bonus’

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Stephen Bird

Edinburgh-based investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen Plc has told its roughly 6,000 employees that some of them will not get a bonus this year.

The company’s bonus pot will be smaller than in previous years and bonuses will go to those who have made a “particularly strong contribution,” said a spokesperson for Standard Life Aberdeen.

Standard Life Aberdeen’s new CEO Stephen Bird announced the policy on a video call last week.

Bird said bonuses would only be paid this year for “extraordinary achievement.”

The CEO said: “That means we don’t just spread it out like peanut butter across the whole company because it then doesn’t send a message.

“It has to send a message that we recognise excellence.

“Unfortunately that means that not everybody will get a bonus but that’s what a performance culture is.”

Bird’s base salary is £875,000 a year, but he also has bonus and incentive arrangements in place that could take his total package up to several million pounds, subject to performance and conditions.

Bird told staff that Standard Life Aberdeen is inefficient and staff were not going to benefit from a “regular” round of salary increases.

“We are taking steps to remodel and reshape the company to be more efficient,” he said.

“That gives me confidence and it should give you confidence that the leaders of the company are taking the right decisions, which secures your future.”

A Standard Life Aberdeen spokeswoman said: “We recognise that many people are suffering in this challenging time and it’s vital that we get the balance right between our employees, investors, communities and our need to invest in the business for our clients and our long-term success.

“In addition to this external context, we also have a well-documented ambition to reduce costs in our business.

“As you would expect in the circumstances, this total bonus pot will be limited compared to previous years …

“This year and in future years, we’ll be making sure discretionary awards are targeted to reward stand-out performance.”