* SLA cuts maximum future pay packages
* Gender pay gap 37 pct at Aberdeen, 42 pct Standard Life
* Chairman, three other board members to stand down
By Carolyn Cohn
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Standard Life Aberdeen revealed on Friday its co-chief executive Keith Skeoch’s total pay rose by nine percent to 3 million pounds ($4.2 million) in 2017.
Skeoch was formerly the CEO of insurer and asset manager Standard Life, which completed an 11 billion pound merger with Scottish rival Aberdeen Asset Management in August last year.
His co-chief executive Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen’s former boss and Skeoch’s fishing partner, was paid 1.3 million pounds for his time on the board of SLA, it said in its annual report.
SLA did not provide details of Gilbert’s pay before the merger and was not immediately able to say what he earned during the period while he was still chief executive of Aberdeen.
SLA also said it had changed its remuneration policy to cut future maximum pay packages for its top executives to bring it into line with peers, as it shifts to an asset management focus.
As part of this strategy change, SLA said on Friday it had agreed to sell the bulk of its insurance business to Phoenix Group for 3.24 billion pounds ($4.5 billion).
As an investor, FTSE 100-listed SLA has been critical of pay and governance at other listed firms.
SLA also published its gender pay gap, fulfilling a new British government requirement. As of April 2017, men were paid on average 34 percent more than women at Aberdeen, and 42 percent more than women at Standard Life.
The figures show a larger gap than for insurer and asset manager Aviva, which published a gender pay gap below 30 percent last month.
SLA also separately announced on Friday several board changes, including the departure by the end of 2019 of chairman Gerry Grimstone, 68, who became Standard Life chairman in 2007.
A former government official, Grimstone has been deputy chairman of Barclays since 2016. He is also a former chairman of financial services lobby group TheCityUK.
Julie Chakraverty, Lynne Peacock and Akira Suzuki will retire from the board at its next annual general meeting. ($1 = 0.7172 pounds) (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Huw Jones; editing by Alexander Smith)