SLI head of equities exits in wake of Aberdeen merger

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Standard Life Investors’ head of equities, David Cumming, has left the firm to “pursue other interests”, the firm has announced.

The current head of European equities, Stan Pearson, has assumed the role of acting head of equities, while Andrew Millington, director of equity research is now acting head of UK equities. Both will continue to manage their respective retail and institutional funds.

Rod Paris, chief investment officer, Standard Life Investments, says: “I wish Stan and Andrew every success in their interim positions – making these internal appointments demonstrates the depth of talent we have within the 73-strong equities team.

“I would also like to thank David for his support and contribution to the business over the many years we have worked together, and wish him the very best.”

Earlier this week Standard Life and Aberdeen announced an £11bn merger deal which is set to create the biggest active management group in the UK and the second largest in Europe.

Cumming has been with SLI for 18 years and his departure has been linked to the Aberdeen merger.

Shore Capital director Eamonn Flanagan told The Times: “The departure of someone of David’s calibre and standing is an ominous sign for the future efforts to push these two businesses together. This is a first signal of the difficulties that the co-chief executives are going to face in integrating these people businesses.

“The timing, coming so close to the merger announcement, suggests a close linkage to the deal — again an ominous indication that maybe it hasn’t gone down well within the two groups of fund managers.”