Our history

The Life Insurance Company of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1825. We reincorporated as a mutual assurance company in 1925 and changed our name to The Standard Life Assurance Company in 1832.

We've always been an international business, and by the end of the 19th century agencies were selling our policies in Ireland, Germany, Canada, Egypt, India, Shanghai and the West Indies.

Throughout the 20th century we grew through innovation and diversification. We expanded from selling annuities and basic types of insurance into group pension schemes, savings and investments.

By the 1950s, we were the largest life assurance company in Scotland. And by the 1990s, we were Europe's biggest mutual company.

In 1998, we launched a dedicated asset management business, Standard Life Investments. They continue to expand their operations globally, with offices and representatives in many of the world's financial capitals.

In 2006, we became Standard Life plc, after a strategic review of our business and a 98% 'yes' vote from our members. We now have around 1.2 million shareholders around the world, and we’ve continued to grow globally.

More about Standard Life demutualisation

See our full history on the Standard Life timeline