News

Martin Gilbert steps down as SLA co-chief executive

Martin_GilbertStandard Life Aberdeen’s (SLA) Martin Gilbert (pictured) is standing down from his position following a dissolution of the co-chief executive structure by the Edinburgh-based asset manager.

The move, effective immediately, leaves Keith Skeoch as the sole chief executive, the firm said in a statement. Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management merged in 2017.

On the same day as the reshuffle, SLA also announced its full year results for 2018 which showed net outflows of £40.9 billion (€47.6 billion) from its funds – up from the £32.9 billion of outflows reported the previous year.

Assets under management fell to £551.5 billion at the end of last year, down from £608.1 billion in 2017.

The figures showed that profits from continuing operations are broadly flat at £650 million.

“In a tough year of continued change for our industry, we saw further net outflows – equivalent to about 7% of our starting assets,” said Gilbert.

Skeoch commented: “We are encouraged by improvements in investment performance in key areas, and our ‘new active’ capabilities mean that we are set up well to capitalise on the trends and opportunities shaping our industry – while continuing to deliver value and returns for our shareholders.”

Reshuffle 
Gilbert will become the vice-chairman of SLA and chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI). He will also continue to be an executive director of the board.

“In this role, Martin [Gilbert] will be able to focus solely on our strategic relationships with key clients, winning new business and realising the potential from our global network and product capabilities. Martin and Keith [Skeoch] will continue to report directly to the chairman,” SLA said.

Gilbert will continue to receive a base salary of £600,000. The maximum bonus he can receive has been reduced from 600% to 350% of his salary.

Other announcements by the firm included Bill Rattray’s retirement from the board from May 31, 2019 after 34 years of service with the group. Rattray, who was finance director of Aberdeen Asset Management since 1991, will be succeeded by Stephanie Bruce.

Bruce is set to become the chief financial officer and executive director in June subject to shareholder approval. She has more than 25 years of experience in the sector and has been a partner in PwC since 2002.

“The changes that we have announced today have the unanimous backing of the board,” said Douglas Flint, chairman of SLA. “The new structure will strengthen our client focus, simplify reporting lines and facilitate robust execution of the next stages of our transition and transformation programmes.”

*Martin Gilbert discussed his firm’s merger with Standard Life in an interview published by Funds Europe in June last year.

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