Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management agree £11 billion merger

Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone

The company will also carry a new brand that incorporates both of the existing names.

- Cost savings from the merger will be an estimated 200 million pounds a year, to be achieved three years after the merger is complete.

The deal will instead be all-share, with Standard Life shareholders owning 66.7% of the combined company.

Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert will run the combined business.

While Vanguard Group of Malvern is the largest and best-known Philadelphia-area investment company, with around $4 trillion in indexed bond and stock funds and other customer assets, Aberdeen's $65 billion US operation "is the largest traditional active manager based in Philadelphia", an early center of the USA investment business, said Jonathan M. Heckscher, senior vice president at Pennsylvania Trust Co.in Radnor.

Investors welcomed the news, with shares in Standard Life up 5.4% in afternoon trading, while Aberdeen was up 4.5%.

Both firms said a merger would create a world-class active fund management company with strengths in all asset classes and markets.


Standard Life employs over 8,000 and Aberdeen has over 2,800 staff.

Under the deal Standard Life will acquire Aberdeen for around £3.8 billion.

Standard Life, meanwhile, has been struggling to improve the performance of GARS, a so-called absolute return fund which aims to make money for investors in all market conditions.

Aberdeen has faced significant problems due to its heavy focus on emerging markets, which have been out of favour with investors over the past four years.

"Expect to see consolidation in the asset management industry continue, Henderson/Janus and Standard Life/Aberdeen are by no means unique in the pressures they are facing from passive management strategies now".

Speaking on a morning call with journalists, Gilbert and Skeoch - who will become co-CEOs of the combined entity - said they were "highly complementary funds businesses". Last month it recorded its 15th consecutive quarter of net outflows, bringing total redemptions from the FTSE 250 asset manager to more than £100bn since the cycle of withdrawals began.

"This merger is a continuation of consolidation in the asset manager industry and I would expect to see more as the market appears to move towards huge combined groups or small specialist boutiques".

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