UK life insurer Standard Life said on Thursday that Gerry Grimstone has been appointed as chairman-elect to take over from Brian Stewart.
Grimstone, who is currently deputy chairman, has served as a Standard Life director since 2003. He has long been named by industry insiders as likely to take over as chairman.
Stewart, who is also chairman of FTSE-100 brewer Scottish & Newcastle, will step down as chairman at the company's annual general meeting on May 29.
Stewart indicated before the insurer's flotation last year the he would stand down once it was established as a listed company.
The appointment of a successor to Stewart is seen as making it easier for chief executive Sandy Crombie, who is 58, to retire at 60 as he has previously signalled.
John Hylands, who led the company's demutualisation, will also stand down from the board on March 31, after five years as an executive director. He leaves the company to pursue other opportunities, Standard Life said.