Standard Life's Skeoch to chair UK audit watchdog, Sky reports

Rugby Union - British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour Media Briefing - The Gherkin, London - 11/1/16 Keith Skeoch CEO of Standard Life PLC during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

LONDON (Reuters) - Keith Skeoch, the departing boss of Standard Life Aberdeen, will become acting chairman of Britain’s accounting watchdog, Sky News reported.

Skeoch, who is due to stand down as CEO of the British asset manager, would temporarily replace Simon Dingemans, who left the FRC in May after only eight months in the job to join private equity firm Carlyle.

The search for FRC chair is being conducted by Britain’s finance ministry.

“The day to day running of the Financial Reporting Council will continue under its CEO Sir Jon Thompson, and we will announce next steps on recruitment of a new Chair in due course,” the ministry said.

Thompson has been FRC CEO for less than a year. The FRC and Standard Life Aberdeen both declined to comment on Monday’s Sky report.

City of London financial sector veteran Skeoch has been an FRC board member since 2012.

Skeoch would join at a time when the FRC is driving through fundamental changes in the sector in response to corporate collapses at builder Carillion and retailer BHS that raised questions about auditing standards and the FRC’s competence.

PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY, known as the Big Four, have been told by the FRC to come up with plans by October 23 to ring fence their auditing operations by June 2024.

Britain is due to propose legislation to replace the FRC with a more powerful Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alexander Smith