Standard Life was until Monday the UK largest Mutual Insurer, but for various reasons they went public. This affects me in several way my pension for what its worth is managed by standard life (though unfortunatly or fortunatly depending on your view on its not a with profits so I was able to vote and get free shares). I did however get to participate in the discounted share offer, in which I was able to buy shares at a reduced rate of 5 percent.
To me Standard Life is a solid buiness with plenty of assets and cash generation the shares are at a discount so the investment is a bit of a no brainer, especially after one year you get a bonus share for every 20 held equal to another 5 percent bonus excellent!
On another pensions related note I read on the back page of telegraph money that the salary sacrifice is the most tax effective way to save for retirement. Basically rather than paying out of my pay I opt to have my salary cut and the different that I am using with my company is the most tax effective way of saving excellent a few pennys less to the Government means more for my retirement hopefully.