PENSIONS and insurance giant Royal London, which employs around 1500 people in Scotland, has recruited the head of Standard Life Aberdeen’s UK business, Barry O’Dwyer, to be its next chief executive.

Mr O’Dwyer will take over from Phil Loney who is to leave in June after leading Royal London for seven years.

These have featured upheaval in the market following the introduction of new pensions freedoms and workplace savings schemes.

Royal London said Mr O’Dwyer would bring a vision for the industry combined with extensive experience of pensions and savings products that would allow him to build on its market position.

A qualified actuary, Mr O’Dwyer has held senior positions at Standard Life, the former HBOS and Prudential since entering the industry in 1988.

He became head of Standard Life’s pension and savings business in 2017. Following the £11bn merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management that year he became head of the enlarged group’s UK business covering pensions, savings, platforms and asset management.

Mr O’Dwyer said he was delighted to be joining Royal London following a period in which the firm had capitalised on some of the big trends in the market. He said he hopes to ensure Royal London builds on a mutual status he believes is associated with great service and value.

Mr O’Dwyer will join former Standard Life Aberdeen non-executive director Kevin Parry on the Royal London board. Mr Parry became chairman of Royal London in January. He will take on some of the chief executive’s responsibilities in the period between Mr Loney standing down in June and Mr O’Dwyer’s expected start date in September.

Royal London employs around 1,350 people in Edinburgh and 100 in Glasgow.

It did not disclose details of Mr O’Dwyer’s pay package.

A Standard Life Aberdeen spokesperson said: “It’s a great opportunity for Barry and we wish him well.”