Sandy Begbie CBE appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise

Wednesday, September 23: Sandy Begbie CBE has been appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the representative body for the financial services industry in Scotland.

Sandy will join SFE on 1 October 2020 and work alongside current Chief Executive Graeme Jones, who is retiring at the end of this year following five years in the role, during a three-month handover period.

With a successful track record in financial services globally from a human resource and transformation perspective, Sandy also brings a range of experience from third sector roles and working with government.

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. This followed his involvement in designing a similar scheme for young people called the Edinburgh Guarantee.

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.

Sandy was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in August 2018 for services to business and social inclusion.

Philip Grant, Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise, 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.”

Sandy 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.”

Graeme Jones, Chief Executive of SFE, said: “It’s reassuring for me to be handing over to someone of Sandy’s seniority and standing. This appointment will ensure continuity in SFE’s purpose, and his expertise and experience will be critical in ensuring the financial services sector is properly represented in these unprecedented times.”

SFE’s Chief Executive search process was managed by advisory search firm Carlyle.

Biography:  Sandy Begbie CBE

Sandy is a globally focussed Transformation Director and Group HR Director with a strong background in International Organisational Transformation.

Most recently he was Chief Transformation Officer at Tesco Bank, fulfilling an 18-month contract. Prior to this he was responsible for the Global People, Organisation and Culture Integration following the successful merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Prior to the merger Sandy was the Chief People Officer and Lead Executive for China and Hong Kong for Standard Life for eight years. During this time he led the Standard Life HR team to be recognised as one of the top performing functions in the UK and also led the turn-around of Standard Life’s Chinese Joint Venture.

Before joining Standard Life plc in May 2010 Sandy held similar positions within Aegon, Scottish Power and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Sandy recently stood down as Chair of the Standard Life Asia Board based in Hong Kong and was appointed Senior Advisor to the SL Asia Board on 1 July 2020.

He is Chair of Career Ready, National Advisory Board (NAB) and is a Non-Executive Director on the Place 2 Be Board. On 4 December 2018 Sandy was appointed as a Director of CMI (Centre for Moving Images) and took up the position of their Chair on 1 January 2019. He was also a member of the HR50 network, a trusted intimate forum for the world’s leading Chief HR Officers with only 50 members globally. 

Sandy was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in August 2018 for services to business and social inclusion.