STANDARD Life has put an end to months of speculation over who will take over from veteran chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie by naming finance director David Nish as his successor.<br /><br />Nish, 49, had been seen as the most likely candidate to take the job since it emerged that veteran Crombie was to retire from the firm.<br /><br />The incoming chief executive will receive a basic salary of £700,000, with bonuses of up to 175 per cent of that. His basic salary is lower than the £745,000 base package given to Crombie last year. <br /><br />Nish will also be given a long-term incentive of as much as 200 per cent of his base salary, Standard Life said. <br /><br />Crombie is to stay on in a consulting role until the spring, the firm added.<br /><br />“David has a proven track record in our business, and has played a pivotal role in the delivery of our strategy since he joined the company,” said chairman Gerry Grimstone.<br /><br />Panmure Gordon analyst Barrie Cornes said the move would form part of a wider review of the executive team at the insurer.<br /><br />“We believe the long-awaited announcement is likely to be viewed as slightly positive as it removes a long-running uncertainty,” he added.<br /><br />The Edinburgh-based insurer said yesterday it had interviewed several candidates from the UK, US, Australia and France in its search for a leader to take over from Crombie.<br /><br /><strong>EDINBURGH INSURER FINALLY SHAKES OFF ITS REPUTATION FOR PROMOTING “STANDARD-LIFERS” FROM WITHIN</strong><br />THE NAMING of David Nish as Sir Sandy Crombie’s successor as chief executive of Standard Life yesterday failed to set the City on fire. Nish has been tipped as heir to the top job since he joined Standard Life in 2006. <br /><br />His main competitors for the post – Standard Life Investments boss Keith Skeoch and Lloyds bank’s insurance head Archie Kane – were never seen as a serious threat.<br /><br />But the naming of an internal candidate to take over from Crombie – who is retiring after 40 years at the firm – served an important purpose.<br /><br />City experts said it was designed to cement the insurer’s image as a safe and sturdy firm that has tackled the financial crisis with aplomb. The insurer has been battling to appear stable since it got into hot water a few years ago amid a market downturn.<br /><br />Nish, 49, was a born-and-raised Glaswegian until he defected to Scotland’s east coast and joined Edinburgh-based Standard Life three years ago.<br /><br />Born in Barrhead, a small town outside of Glasgow, he attended Paisley Grammar School before reading an Accountancy degree at Glasgow University. He then joined accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Glasgow office in 1981. He was later a finance director at Glasgow-based Scottish Power. <br /><br />A trekking enthusiast, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2005. <br /><br />He was heavily involved in Standard Life’s controversial £5bn bid for Clive Cowdery’s buyout vehicle Resolution in 2005.