Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset complete £11bn merger

The £11 billion merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management completed today, creating one of the world's largest investment companies.

Monday, 14th August 2017, 11:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:23 pm
Standard Life Aberdeen is headed by co-chief executives Keith Skeoch, left, and Martin Gilbert. Picture: Contributed

The combined group, called Standard Life Aberdeen, has assets under administration of some £670bn and more than 1,000 investment professionals around the world.

However, the deal – first announced in March – will see about 800 jobs lost from the global workforce of 9,000 over a three-year period as bosses target savings of £200 million a year.

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Completion of the merger comes after the tie-up was sanctioned at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Friday.

Standard Life Aberdeen will be jointly headed by Keith Skeoch, previously boss of Edinburgh-based Standard Life, and former Aberdeen chief Martin Gilbert.

Skeoch said: “Today marks the culmination of many months of hard work and preparation by our business, and the beginning of a new chapter in our history as Standard Life Aberdeen plc.

“Our leadership team is in place and we have full business readiness from day one. Our people have worked exceptionally well together to complete the merger on schedule and we would like to thank them for this. The co-operation and collaboration we have witnessed bodes well for the on-going integration of the business, and in helping us create a world-class investment company for our clients, shareholders and our people.”

Gilbert added: “As ever our priority remains the delivery of strong investment performance and the highest level of client service.

“The merger deepens and broadens our investment capabilities, and gives us a stronger and more diverse range of investment management skills as well as significant scale across asset classes and geographies. We believe this will enable us to deliver an even better proposition and service to our enlarged client base.”

The group’s investment business, Aberdeen Standard Investments, manages £583bn of assets, while its pensions and savings business, Standard Life, has about 4.5 million customers.

Overall, Standard Life Aberdeen will have offices in 50 cities, serving clients in 80 countries.

Figures last week from Standard Life showed a 6 per cent rise in operating profits to £362m for the six months to the end of June, while assets under management edged up 1 per cent to £362bn.

But the group’s last results as an independent company before its merger with Aberdeen were overshadowed by outflows of £5.6bn from its flagship Global Absolute Returns Strategies (Gars) fund in the first six months of the year.