View more on these topics

Aberdeen’s Gilbert defends co-CEO role ahead of Standard Life merger

Aberdeen Gilbert Martin Gilbert 700x450

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert has defended the co-chief executive arrangements planned following the company’s merger with Standard Life, arguing both jobs will be on the line if it doesn’t work out.

Gilbert argues his own strengths lie in distribution and strategy while Keith Skeoch’s skill set lies on asset management itself, CNBC reports.

“We get on very well,” Gilbert says of the Standard Life chief executive, who he mentions he has known for 30 years.

“Nothing would drag me to chairing an asset allocation committee at a fund manager.”

Gilbert argues he is “absolutely certain” the arrangement will work, adding: “And I suspect if it doesn’t we’ll both be going.”

Standard Life/Aberdeen merger: What we know so far

“We’ve done this for positive reasons because it diversifies both of us. We were very much an emerging markets fund manager, Standard Life is very well known for its GARS and its very good pensions and savings business.”

The fund management business is going through a number of headwinds with the rise and rise of passives, more regulation, fee pressure, so being bigger definitely helps. The common wisdom in the sector is that you either want to be very big or small.

Merger misgivings

Gilbert’s comments came as he criticised another merger, namely Santander’s takeover of struggling Spanish bank Banco Popular, which he compared to Lloyds takeover of HBOS in 2009.

Santander is to launch a rights issue to raise €7bn to support the buyout, but Gilbert argues it may have faced pressure from the ECB to save the Spanish lender from the brink of collapse,

The ECB had warned that a “significant deterioration of the liquidity situation” meant Banco Santander was likely to fail.

Gilbert says, without knowing the full facts, it looks like Santander has been lent on to save the bank.

“It smacks a bit of the Bank of Scotland (HBOS) / Lloyds where you never know how much pressure is put on the biggest bank in Spain by the central bank so I’d be surprised if they had agreed to it under duress but that will come out,” Gilbert says.

For all of Money Marketing’s continuing coverage of the Standard Life/Aberdeen merger, click here.

Recommended

Competition regulator to investigate Standard Life Aberdeen deal

CMA to investigate competition fallout from mega-merger The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Standard Life’s proposed takeover of Aberdeen Asset Management. The pair released their full merger prospectus earlier this month after agreeing an £11bn mega-merger in March. Plans include reducing headcount by 800, “combining” their platforms and premises, and a new board to […]

1

Standard Life and Aberdeen eye smart beta entry as merger plans take shape

Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life have “big plans” to enter the smart beta arena as the merging firms prepare to present their new investment strategy. The divisional investment structure of Aberdeen and Standard Life, which will be presented to shareholders in early May, will focus on up to six investment strategies within equity, fixed […]

China: growth defence or another debt-fuelled boom?

By Douglas Turnbull, Head of Chinese Equities at Neptune Following recent stimulus efforts from Beijing, Neptune’s Douglas Turnbull examines how the government’s long-term reform agenda can be balanced with supporting growth and addressing structural challenges, and the investment opportunities arising from this.Click here to read more Important information: Investment Risks Neptune funds may have a […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Duncan Gafney 8th June 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Have to say it sounds like a convenient arrangement to keep both CEO’s who agreed the deal in place and earning mega bucks, when any company only needs one CEO.

    And execs wonder why customers don’t trust them…

Leave a comment