The times they are a-changing: Meaning it pays to be prepared

Marc Sidwell
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MASSIVE regulatory change isn’t the easiest business environment, but Standard Life appeared well-adapted to its rigours yesterday, as it posted impressive UK profits ahead of two huge retail investment shakeups. The retail distribution review comes into effect from 1 January 2013 and will change how UK financial advice is delivered, ending commissions. With £12.8bn of assets under management, Standard Life plans to be ready early, by mid-October.

Likewise with the auto-enrolment of UK employees in pension schemes, due to start from 1 October this year. The investment firm has done its homework here too, and sees up to 400,000 additional savers that may come its way as a result.

Regulatory uncertainty is toxic for business, but if changes are agreed, at least for firms with the foresight and resources to plan ahead, tearing up the rulebook has its advantages.