We are an independent charitable foundation contributing towards strategic change which improves financial well-being in the UK.

Our funding comes from the unclaimed assets from Standard Life’s demutualisation in 2006, which we received in 2017. Decisions about our strategy and what we fund are made by our independent board of trustees.


Our focus is on funding strategic work which improves financial well-being in the UK. When we talk about financial well-being, we mean improving people’s ability to meet current financial commitments and needs comfortably - having enough income for more than life’s essentials and not struggling to make ends meet. It means people have the capacity to do this in the future, including the ability to deal with financial shocks, and have saved enough for when they retire. We want everyone to feel more in control and confident over their finances.

Our funding programmes are focussed on three significant areas that influence financial well-being: Income, Spending and Assets.

The work we plan to fund will need to benefit more than individuals and has the potential to create a step change in policy, practice, attitudes and/or behaviour. This includes funding policy work, campaigning and research. A priority for us is work focussed on younger generations.

We have developed funding guidelines for those considering applying to us. They provide information about us, what we will fund and how you can make an application to us. Please download the document below.

Our next funding deadline is 3 June 2019 at 1pm

Please download the funding guidelines (PDF, 351KB)


Our Board of Trustees

Alistair Darling - Chairman


Alistair is a member of the House of Lords. He formerly served as a member of the House of Commons from 1987 to 2015, a member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West from 2005 to 2015 and for Edinburgh Central from 1987 to 2005. He is also a Director of Morgan Stanley and an Honorary President of Chatham House.

Alistair has held several Cabinet posts, most recently as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010, and as the Chairman of the Better Together campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

James Daunt - Director and Trustee


James is Chief Executive of the bookshop business Waterstones. James founded Daunt Books in 1990. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking with JP Morgan Chase & Co.

In addition to running the Waterstones business and overseeing Daunts, James is also a Trustee of the Man Booker Prize Foundation and World Book Day.

Naomi Eisenstadt - Director and Trustee


Naomi is Senior Research Fellow for Families, Effective Learning and Literacy at the University of Oxford, and Vice Chair of The Scottish Government’s Poverty and Inequality Commission. She also serves as a Trustee for a number of charities – including Trust for London, which tackles poverty and inequality, and Save the Children.

In 1999, after a long career in non-governmental organisations, Naomi became the first Director of the Sure Start Unit – a government initiative delivering free nursery education places for all three and four year olds in the UK – and of the national childcare strategy for England. From 2006 to 2009 Naomi served as Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force in the Cabinet Office.

David Hall - Director and Trustee


David is Professor of Education and Head of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter.

With a background in economics and business education, David has more than 20 years’ research experience in the field of education policy and leadership and links between socio-economic and educational disadvantage. He developed a range of internationally-focused programmes of study for education professionals across the globe in his previous role as Professor and Head of the Institute of Education, University of Manchester.

Lucy Heller - Director and Trustee


Lucy is Chief Executive of Ark, an international education charity. Ark Schools, where she was Founding Managing Director, is now one of the top performing academy groups in the UK with 36 schools and over 20,000 students.

Lucy has extensive experience as a Trustee of education and policy organisations – including the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and Cometa, an Italian education charity.

Elaine Kempson - Director and Trustee


Elaine is Emeritus Professor of Personal Finance and Social Policy Research at the University of Bristol.

Elaine has 35 years’ experience of conducting research and contributing to policy development on all aspects of personal financial services both in the UK and internationally. She has held a number of senior advisory positions including member of the Money Advice Service Financial Capability Strategy Board, adviser to the Central Bank of Ireland on consumer protection, non-executive director role at the UK Financial Ombudsman Service, member of the HM Treasury Financial Inclusion Task Force, and member of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Social Security Advisory Committee. In 2007 Elaine was awarded a CBE for services to the financial services industry.

Wendy Loretto - Director and Trustee


Wendy is the Dean of the Business School and Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh.

Wendy's main research field is age and employment, with a particular focus on changes in employees’ and employers’ attitudes and practices in extending working lives. She is especially interested in the ways in which gender, age and health interact to affect work and retirement experiences amongst older men and women across Europe.

Graeme McEwan - Director and Trustee


Graeme is the Chief Communications Officer for Standard Life Aberdeen plc. He is responsible for the company’s corporate communications, public relations, public affairs and internal communications strategies.

Prior to joining Standard Life Aberdeen he was Head of UK Marketing for Prudential and had senior communications roles with both Scottish Amicable and Royal Sun Alliance. He is a council member of CBI Scotland and a board member of the Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce Group.

Keith Skeoch - Director and Trustee


Keith is Chief Executive of Standard Life Aberdeen plc. He was appointed Chief Executive of Standard Life plc in August 2015, having been Chief Executive of Standard Life Investments since 2004. He joined Standard Life Investments as Chief Investment Officer in 1999.

Prior to this, Keith spent 20 years with James Capel in a number of roles, including Chief Economist and Managing Director International Equities. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Financial Reporting Council.

Euan Stirling - Director and Trustee


Euan is Global Head of Stewardship and ESG Investment at Aberdeen Standard Investments ("ASI"). A chartered accountant, Euan's career began at Ernst & Young in 1986 and he subsequently held a variety of accounting roles spanning Private Practice, Industry and Local Government. Before joining ASI, he was a UK fund manager at Schroder Investment Management where he managed several institutional pension funds and charity portfolios.

Euan moved into his role as Head of Stewardship and ESG Investment at ASI in 2016 following a fifteen year career with them during which he was a fund manager and investment analyst in the UK Equity Team. Euan's role brings together the Governance & Stewardship and Responsible Investment teams.

Contact us

Email: enquiries@standardlifefoundation.org.uk

Phone: 0131 245 1089

Address: 1 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LL