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Aberdeen executives take 33% pay cuts

Beleaguered fund firm Aberdeen Asset Management is cutting executive pay by a third in a bid to stem criticism surrounding its failed split-capital trusts.

Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert and global investment trust director Chris Fishwick will both join senior management in taking a 33 per cent pay cut and postponing the payment of bonuses totalling £2.65m.

The move is designed to placate shareholders who have seen shares slump in value to 77.5p from almost £7 in early 2001.

But speculation is growing that the position of Fishwick is becoming increasingly untenable if the company wants to salvage some of its brand value.

IFAs are saying that a swift solution for compensation of investors in the four Aberdeen split-capital trusts that have gone into liquidation is the only way for the firm to move forward. Many IFAs are positive about Aberdeen&#39s fixed-interest offerings but want to see a line drawn under the split-cap issue before putting more money into the company.

Bates Investment Services head of research James Dalby says: “Pressure for Gilbert and Fishwick to go will come from the shareholders before it comes from the IFA sector. They both must be under intense pers-onal pressure. But the one name that weighs on the organisation is Fishwick. If I were Fishwick, I would think my position was untenable.”

Aberdeen marketing director, investment trusts, Piers Currie says: “The board take seriously the issues surrounding the company&#39s reputation but we would not comment on individual directors.”

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