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Standard Life and Aberdeen announce split chief executive role

Skeoch Keith Standard Life Investments
Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch

Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen Asset Management’s boss Martin Gilbert will share the role of chief executive following the merger of the two businesses.

Skeoch and Gilbert will be co-chief executive, sharing responsibility for the executive committee, the combined group’s strategy and objectives and will oversee operational performance, strategic direction and the post-merger integration programme.

Other responsibilities have been split, with Skeoch accountable for the day-to-day running of the business and investments, pensions and savings.

He will also oversee the businesses’ India and China insurance joint ventures, operations, finance, HR, risk and regulatory culture, as well as the legal and secretariat functions.

Gilbert will be responsible for for external matters, such as international activities, distribution, business development, marketing and corporate development.

A chairman’s committee is being set up to oversee the businesses post merger, chaired by Sir Gerry Grimstone, with deputy chairman of the combined group Simon Troughton, Skeoch and Gilbert as its other members.

The two firms have also published their organisational design, with pledges including: putting investments at the heart of the combined business; focusing on long-term client needs; diversifying across geographies, asset classes and client and customer channels; reducing costs and realising further efficiencies through simplification and delivering on the integration objectives, including the targeted synergies.

Grimstone says: “I am delighted that we have announced these clear accountabilities for the co-chief executives in the combined business. Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe that the proposals play well to Keith’s and Martin’s respective leadership strengths. This blend of complementary skills and experience will serve the company well”.

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  1. Senior egos may have been protected in the negotiations, but I’d be astonished if this arrangement lasted more than 12 months. And I can guess who will be left standing.

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