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Executive Committee



David Nish, Chief Executive, Standard Life plc

David Nish was appointed Group Chief Executive in January 2010. He joined Standard Life as Group Finance Director in November 2006. David is a Deputy Chairman of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and chairs their Life Insurance Council Management Committee. David was previously a non-executive director with Northern Foods plc, a major food manufacturer, Thus plc, a telecoms and internet provider, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Before joining Standard Life, David was Executive Director, Infrastructure Division at Scottish Power plc. He also held the roles of Finance Director from 1999 to 2005 having joined the company as Deputy Finance Director in 1997.

Prior to this, he worked at Price Waterhouse, becoming a Partner in the firm in 1993. He managed a portfolio of major Plc clients, including household names in the power, drinks, financial services and retail industries.

He began his career with Price Waterhouse in 1981 after graduating as a Bachelor of Accountancy from Glasgow University. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1984 and, from 1987 to 1989, worked in Mississauga, Canada as a manager for the firm.

In 2004-2005, David was a member of the UK Government's Employers Pension Task Force and also the Accounting Standards Board's Urgent Issues Task Force.

Charles Guay, President and Chief Executive Officer

Charles Guay joined Standard Life in January 2012. He continues to build on the rich Canadian history of the company, ensuring the growth of their three major business areas: retirement savings and group insurance, and individual investment solutions.

Formerly, he held several executive positions with National Bank of Canada, including President and Chief Operating Officer of National Bank Investments, after having worked with Fidelity Investments Canada and RBC Dominion Securities.

In 2012, he received a Hermès career achievement award from Université Laval. He was honoured as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2005, and was awarded the Arista Jeune cadre du Québec award by the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal.
Mr. Guay is active in his industry and his community. He currently serves on the Standing Committee on Québec Affairs of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association and is a governor of Finance Montréal and of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal. He also serves on the board of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and of the Sainte-Justine CHU Foundation.

Mr. Guay holds a bachelor degree in business administration, major in finance, from Université Laval and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute.

Graham Nichol, Senior Vice-President, Customer Experience

In April 2011, Graham Nichol was appointed Senior Vice-President, Customer Experience. Mr. Nichol will ensure intermediaries and customers have an exceptional customer experience at all times when dealing with Standard Life in Canada.

Mr. Nichol has been with the company since 1982 and has worked in roles leading customer service operations in the UK. Under his leadership, Standard Life plc has been recognized for the quality of its service. Advisors have consistently awarded Standard Life their highest marks for more than a decade, which resulted in a special outstanding achievement award in 2008.

Graham Rowan, Senior Vice-President, Technology

Graham Rowan was appointed Senior Vice-President, Technology, in April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of technology strategy, planning, delivery and operations. His team develops information technology solutions appropriate for Standard Life’s current and future business needs and integrates emerging technologies to leverage the company’s innovative product offerings and services.

Mr. Rowan has more than 20 years experience shaping and delivering programs, partnerships and commercial contracts in the financial services and human resources sectors. He joined Standard Life in 2011 as the Head of IT and Shared Services at its UK operations.

Mr. Rowan holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with first class honours from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. In 2006 on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary Awards, he was recognized as “Individual of the Year” by Arts and Business Scotland for his work with Cumberland Theatre, a well known registered charity in the UK.

Kevin Powers, Senior Vice-President, Finance and Strategy

Kevin Powers was appointed Senior Vice-President, Finance and Strategy, in September 2012. In this role, Mr. Powers acts as Chief Financial Officer of Standard Life in Canada. He is a significant contributor in refining the company's long-term savings and investment focus, in addition to overseeing the capital strategy.

Mr. Powers has extensive experience in the financial services industry. Previously, he was Chief Financial Officer for RBC Dexia in London, England where he was responsible for all financial and treasury activities. He also held several senior positions in financial institutions in Montréal and Toronto.

Born in Montréal, Mr. Powers holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. He holds also a Master of Science degree in Administration and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Concordia University (Montréal).

Louise Pellerin-Lacasse, Vice-President, Risk Management

Louise Pellerin-Lacasse was appointed Vice-President, Risk Management, in September 2012. She is responsible for leading and developing the strategic direction of the company's overall risk management which includes financial, insurance, investment and operational risks.

Mrs. Pellerin-Lacasse joined Standard Life in 1979, and gained wide experience and knowledge of the business, including pensions, by working in various departments such as Corporate Actuarial, Group Consulting and Product Development. In 1993, she was appointed Vice-President, Product Development, and five years later, Vice-President, Marketing, Group Savings and Retirement. In 2005, she was appointed Vice-President, Risk Management, and six years later, Vice-President, Product Development and Management, a position she held until her most recent appointment.

Mrs. Pellerin-Lacasse has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Université de Montréal, is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and of the Society of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst.

Michel Fortin, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Solutions

Michel Fortin was appointed Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Solutions, in August 2012. In his newly created role, Mr. Fortin oversees the development and implementation of the company's whole suite of products and services, pricing and marketing communications.

Mr. Fortin joined Standard Life in 1987 as an actuary before progressing to various leadership positions, where he played a significant role in the development and marketing of retail investment products.

Mr. Fortin holds a bachelor's degree in actuarial science from Laval University (Québec City) and has been a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries since 2000.

Penny Westman, Senior Vice-President, Legal and Compliance

Penny Westman has been Senior Vice-President, Legal and Compliance since March 2005. She is responsible for the provision of legal services to the Canadian operations, including the secretarial function for all of the Canadian companies and the Branch. As Chief Compliance Officer, she is responsible for the setting of policies and procedures for adherence to regulatory requirements, monitoring of these policies and procedures and compliance reporting to Senior Management and the Board.

Between June 1998 and March 2005, Ms. Westman was Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary. She was responsible for providing legal counsel regarding all activities carried on by the Company and its subsidiaries and joint ventures in Canada so as to protect the interests and reputation of the Company.

Penny Westman joined Standard Life in April 1997 as Associate General Counsel after a successful career in corporate law, contract administration and private practice. Before joining Standard Life, Ms. Westman was Director of Legal Services for a large Canadian retailer from 1987 to 1996.

Ms. Westman obtained a Bachelor in Civil Law degree from Université de Montréal in 1976, as well as a nationally accredited Common Law equivalency certificate from the University of Ottawa in 1997.

Sandy Begbie, People and Transformation Director, Standard Life plc

Sandy Begbie was appointed People and Transformation Director for Standard Life plc in May 2010. He is responsible for delivering the organisational change program at the Group level to create a new fit for purpose business.

Before joining Standard Life, he was HR Director at AEGON UK (2007-2010) and Scottish Power (2000-2007). Prior to this, he held a range of senior roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland (1983-2000), including Leadership, Management and Talent Development, Business Change, Organisation Development and Training and Reward roles.

Sandy gained an MBA from Edinburgh University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. He is also a non-Executive Director with the Scottish Government, chairs their Remuneration Committee, and was a non-executive director at Wharton Business School in Philadelphia for 7 years, until 2010. Sandy's main areas of expertise lie in developing talent management programs with a strong focus on growing talent from within an organisation.

Sophie Fortin, Senior Vice-President, People, Business Change and Communications

Sophie Fortin is Senior Vice-President, People, Business Change and Communications. As such, she is responsible for the strategy designed to attract, train and retain talented employees while promoting a highly effective and motivating working environment. She is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of a corporate communication strategy for internal and external audiences.

Ms. Fortin joined Standard Life in 2008. She is a seasoned human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience with major national and international companies. Over the course of her career, she also carried out mandates in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico and Africa. She was the Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Services, from June 2008 until her current appointment in November 2010.

Sophie Fortin holds a Master of Business Administration with a major in Psychology from Concordia University. She is also a Certified Human Resource Professional and a member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines du Québec.

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