Standard Life Aberdeen loses eight managers in Aviva Investors raid

Eight senior staff at Standard Life Aberdeen are on their way to Aviva Investors as it plans to open a new Edinburgh office this month.

The departures come as a blow for the newly-merged Standard Life Aberdeen, which also lost former Standard Life Investments equities head David Cumming to Aviva in January.

Cumming will now manage the eight new staff in Aviva’s office, which is set to open later this month with a capacity of 60, the Financial Times reports.

Among others, Aviva will take on Mikhail Zverev as head of global equities, Alistair Way as head of global emerging market equities, and Henry Flockhart and Adam McInally as UK equity portfolio managers.

Aviva Investor’s chief executive Euan Munro also has history at Standard Life for his role in launching the Global Absolute Return Strategies fund.

The future of Standard Life AberdeenMunro says: “Investing in our equities capabilities is a strategic priority for our business. These hires will enhance our ability to offer compelling equity propositions for wholesale and institutional investors, as well as strengthening idea generation for our broader range of investment solutions.”

While many analysts remain bullish on Standard Life Aberdeen, it has faced a tough time since agreeing to merge in March last year.

At least five managers had departed before Aviva’s raft of hires, while the firm remains in a battle with Lloyds-owned Scottish Widows over the status of a £109bn mandate with Standard Life Aberdeen.

An Aberdeen Standard Investments spokesman says: “”Inevitably when you integrate two investment teams there will be some departures. Following the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life we have created one of the largest and best resourced equities teams in the industry.”

The spokesman adds: “We now have more than 150 equity investment professionals on the ground around the world. That scale is important because our approach relies on fundamental research, which we think is best carried out by well-resourced teams which are close to the markets in which they are investing.”

Gars has continued to suffer outflows, but shareholders have seen a return on their investments after Standard Life sold its insurance business to Phoenix.

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