Press Release 89
27.6.00 Subject: Standard Life’s members give a ringing endorsement for mutuality “Another carpetbagger has been hit in the goolagongs” -“No bleating Fred”
Storyline “Now you have lost please leave the stage graciously Mr Woollard. No bleating please.” says Bob Goodall SOBS Comment about the result Bob Goodall says “ this is a tremendous victory for mutuality. The members of standard life have heard both sides of the argument and resisted a one-off bribe in favour of superior long term benefits both for themselves and for their children. This is because mutuals can share their profits between their members instead of paying dividends to external shareholders. hence Woollard bites the dust. “Standard Life has won the fight for mutual status. We fear Mr Woollard will not leave quietly and may be a bad loser.” Mr Woollard knew the rules of the fight when he declared war on Standard Life. 75% is the required figure for conversion nothing less, and the reason for this is to take into consideration the seismic changes called for by the carpetbagging resolutions. Constitutional changes have similar voting thresholds. He didn’t even get 50%! “having received support from less than half those who voted Fred Woollard should now have the grace to withdraw from the scene as he promised to do. He should allow Standard Life time to implement the lessons learned from this bruising fight.
Beacon for the future I believe that Standard life has the potential to be the champion and beacon for mutuals everywhere. As one commentator remarked he was voting for Standard Life to remain mutual in order to protect the business it can become in the future, once lessons are learned.” The Future The retention of mutuality at Standard life is important not only to its members but to members of mutuals everywhere. Now this is over and the battle won Standard life needs to develop its public relations strategy and embark on a ‘hearts and minds’ offensive. It should talk to its members more with an ongoing dialog between Standard life and those who make it what it is. Standard Life should be magnanimous in victory and seek to build bridges with with any groups or parts of the media that have become alienated from the organisation or the mutual message it has sought to convey.” Analysis of the vote Mutual life Insurance companies need to promote the virtues of mutuality in the same robust and determined way as mutual building societies. The pro-mutual vote will be even higher (if there is a next time) so long as Standard life gives ample publicity to the value of mutuality. Question for Mr Woollard Can he catergorically state that he will not target any other mutuals. Or is the term “professional carpetbagger” appropriate?
Bob Goodall co-ordinator “Save Our Building Societies” campaign tel 01727 847 370 (24hrs)
Library briefing from SOBS on Standard Life vote