Sandy Begbie, chief people officer, Standard Life


Sandy Begbie is responsible for the group’s people function and lead executive for the joint venture Heng An Standard Life in China and the Asia business based in Hong Kong

Begbie joined Standard Life in May 2010 as the group transformation director. He was also a member of KPMG’s P3 Client Advisory Board until July 2016, chairman of Career Ready, Scottish Advisory Board (SAB) and has just recently been appointed as a NED to the Open University Board.

Sandy also chairs the new Regional Developing Young Workforce (DYW) group to tackle Edinburgh and Lothians youth unemployment. He is a member of the HR50 network, a trusted intimate forum for the world’s leading chief HR officers with only 50 members globally.

His main areas of expertise are operating internationally, leading major organisational change, driving performance through a strong commercial approach and growing talent within an organisation. 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 RBS (1983-2000), including leadership, management and talent development, business change, organisation development and training and reward.

Begbie's career highlights to date include:

  • Being voted HR Network Scotland’s ‘HR Director of the Year’ in 2009 and “Outstanding Contribution to Scottish HR Award” in 2011
  • Leading the team that won the HR Network ‘Talent Management Programme of the Year 2010’ for Standard Life
  • Membership of the board of the Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, USA (2004 – 2010)
  • Completing nine years as non-executive director with the Scottish Government and chair of its remuneration committee
  • Being appointed as the Chair of Standard Life Asia Board, a member of the Heng An Standard Life (HASL) board and chair of the HASL Audit and Risk Committee in 2012.
  • Being 5th in HR’s Most Influential Practitioner of the Decade and also shortlisted for HR’s Most Influential 2014 and 2015
  • Being voted HR’s Most Influential Practitioner 2016

Begbie gained an MBA at Edinburgh University and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Away from work, his interests include travelling, gardening and reading business books and biographies.

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