|Headquarters||Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Lord Blackwell, Chairman
Toby Strauss, Group Director Insurance
|Parent||Lloyds Banking Group|
Scottish Widows plc is a life, pensions and investment company located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group. Its product range includes life assurance, pensions, investments and savings. The company has been providing financial services to the UK market since 1815 and is the most trusted life, pensions and investment provider in the UK according to a 2010 Ipsos study. The company sells products through independent financial advisers, direct to customers and through Lloyds Banking Group bank branches.
In March 1812, a number of prominent Scotsmen gathered in the Royal Exchange Coffee Rooms in Edinburgh. They were there to discuss setting up ‘a general fund for securing provisions to widows, sisters and other female relatives’ of fundholders so that they would not be plunged into poverty on the death of the fundholder during and after the Napoleonic Wars. Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society opened in 1815 as Scotland's first mutual life office.
In 1999, Lloyds TSB agreed to buy the society for £7 billion. The society demutualised on 3 March 2000 as part of the acquisition. At the time of its takeover, Scottish Widows set up an "additional account" to hold £1.7 billion of the proceeds from the sale. This fund was to be used to enhance terminal bonuses across the company, but was eventually used to compensate guaranteed annuity rate options (GARs) holders.
In November 2013, Lloyds Banking Group sold its asset management division, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) to Aberdeen Asset Management in a £660m deal.
The Scottish Widow first appeared in a television advert directed by David Bailey in 1986. Since then, Scottish Widows has made 10 adverts featuring the Scottish Widow. Scottish Widows was also the first company to launch a national television campaign celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These adverts have made the Widow the most popular icon in the protection, pensions and investments markets.
Three models have portrayed the Scottish Widow, a hooded character featured in the company's advertising. The original Widow, chosen to portray the company’s brand values in the memorable ‘Looking Good’ commercial in 1986, was Deborah Moore, daughter of actor Roger Moore. In 1994 Amanda Lamb took over the role. Hayley Hunt became the third Scottish Widow in 2005. In 2014 the company announced that the fourth Scottish Widow would be 24 year-old model Amber Martinez.
Scottish Widows was the Official Pensions and Investment Provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company employs athletes Roger Black MBE and Sarah Storey OBE as their Olympic Ambassadors. Roger and Sarah promote the involvement of Scottish Widows in the London 2012 Games, across the country.
- Scottish Widows staff (www.scottishwidows.co.uk/about_us/who_we_are/our_brand.html)
- IPSOS brand tracking study 2010
- "Lloyds TSB buys Scottish Widows". BBC News. 23 June 1999. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Q&A: Standard Life demutualisation". BBC News. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Jonathan Russell (29 April 2009). "Lloyds cuts 305 jobs and drops Clerical". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Lloyds sells Scottish Widows Investment in £660m deal". BBC News. 18 November 2013.
- Scottish Widows adverts (www.scottishwidows.co.uk/tv/advertising)
- Quinn, James (24 August 2013). "Modern setting as the Scottish Widow returns". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Scottish Widows London 2012 site (www.scottishwidows.co.uk/london 2012)
- Scottish Widows Ambassadors(www.scottishwidows.co.uk/london2012/ambassadors)