Finance is indispensable within a modern economy. For businesses, it fuels growth through the ability to borrow, creating jobs and wealth for the benefit of society. For individuals, it’s the channel for people to save and invest for their future. So Scotland, and specifically Edinburgh, can be proud of our strong financial services industry - our sector supports the prosperity of the city and its people.

Edinburgh’s financial industry has long been at the centre of the city’s economy and has shown incredible resilience. Today, Edinburgh is the second largest financial centre in the UK; and financial services in Scotland directly and indirectly employs over 140,000 people. The industry has successfully navigated its way through the global financial crisis in 2008 and the period of heightened regulatory and political scrutiny that followed, to emerge with stronger balance sheets and a renewed focus on social purpose.

It’s an exciting time in our industry; disruptive forces are all around us shifting the shape of the savings and investment landscape. Individuals are increasingly taking on more responsibility for their financial future; they expect great digital experiences and are wary of trusting big business. As a result we’ve seen the rise of challenger banks and the fintech sector – companies which we’ve seen establish themselves and grow in Edinburgh in recent years.

My view is that established businesses, like ours, who also engage and embrace these forces have a bright future. That means not only adapting our business model but recognising that we need to connect with broader society in a different manner. The asset management sector in Edinburgh is thriving. Scottish firms – both private and listed – manage over £1trillion of assets. The asset manager of the future should have the highest fiduciary standards and generate innovative investment solutions that deliver social as well as financial outcomes. It should be a beacon for stewardship and responsible investing, a force for inclusion and a magnet for talent. Get all this right and the sector will continue to flourish.

I’m pleased that Standard Life Aberdeen has been part of this story. In the last ten years, our business has evolved and diversified. Last year we completed one of the most significant chapters of our evolution to date, the merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. Recently we also announced the proposed sale of our insurance business to the Phoenix Group. While also expanding our strategic partnership with them, this transaction completes Standard Life Aberdeen’s transformation into a capital-light, fee based investment company.

I’m also very pleased that the Phoenix Group has indicated its intention to maintain its operational headquarters in Edinburgh, reaffirming the attraction of the city.

We exist to invest for a better future and that includes investing in Edinburgh, our broader Scottish operations and the community around us. The recent opening of our new building in St Andrew Square earlier this month demonstrates our commitment. The knock-on effect is £200m each year for the local economy, seven new restaurants, plus numerous contracts and collaboration opportunities for local businesses, suppliers, charities, apprentices and graduates. It was a great honour to host HRH The Princess Royal to open the building earlier this month, 21 years on from when she opened Standard Life’s previous headquarters on Lothian Road.

Edinburgh is thriving – as a cultural hotspot, with a healthy economy and world-heritage surrounds, it attracts some of the best people and businesses. This allows us to attract the best talent to our sector and contribute in our own way to Edinburgh’s success. I look forward to witnessing our industry’s continuing contribution to Edinburgh’s development for many years to come.

Keith Skeoch is co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen