Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management are merging in a
deal Standard Life CEO Keith Skeoch says will create an
asset management powerhouse at a time when many active
fund managers are struggling to attract investors.
During a shareholder presentation Monday morning, Skeoch,
along with Aberdeen CEO Martin Gilbert, said the merger would
help the firms achieve scale and product diversification as
active managers including Aberdeen and Standard Life
face lower returns and increased competition for
Aberdeen has suffered 15 straight quarters of net outflows,
including £10.5 billion ($12.9 billion) in redemptions
during the latest quarter - an outcome Gilbert attributed to
soured sentiment in emerging markets following the U.S.
election of President Donald Trump. Standard Life, meanwhile,
saw £2.6 billion of redemptions last year from its Global
Absolute Return Strategies fund. Lately, though, there are
signs of improvement at Aberdeen.
Were seeing a market slowdown on the equity
outflows, Gilbert said. If we do see any change in
sentiment in emerging markets, well see pretty
Skeoch and Gilbert will serve as co-CEOs after the merger is
completed, creating one the largest investment managers in
Europe with a combined £581 billion of assets. Aberdeen
currently holds £303 billion in assets under management
while Standard Life manages £278 billion.
We bring together the combined strength of Aberdeen in
emerging markets and Asia with Standard Lifes strengths
in developed markets and multi-asset, Skeoch said.
Together well have the scale to generate
The firm will also be the worlds largest manager of
third-party insurance assets, with a combined £182
billion under management.
The two managers said they have little overlap in clients,
with just four of their top 50 in common. It give us a
real opportunity to cross-sell around the world, Gilbert
The combined company will retain branding from both Standard
Life and Aberdeen, although the name of the new firm has yet to
be determined. Standard Lifes chairman, Gerry Grimstone,
will be chairman of the combined firm, with Simon Troughton,
Aberdeens chairman, serving as deputy chairman. Standard
Life CIO Rod Paris will be the group chief investment