Gilbert: ‘Aberdeen’s independence is essential’

Martin Gilbert
Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen Asset Management’s founder and chief executive, has spoken publicly about the asset manager’s need to remain independent as he quashed recent speculation that he was gearing-up for a sell-off.

Press reports last month speculated a buyer was being sought in a move to turn around outflows and a drop in profitability.

The reports included rumours that Gilbert had made informal approaches to several rivals over recent months.

However, speaking to Bloomberg, Mr Gilbert said: “I have ruled it out. Being independent is absolutely vital to us as a business. So we have completely ruled it out.

“But basically we have to ride out the cycle and wait for Asia and emerging markets to come back into fashion.”

The fund group’s share price has fallen 25 per cent over the past six months, and Aberdeen saw net outflows of almost £10bn to the end of June. Total assets are £307bn.

Gilbert also said that the company, although making various business acquisitions throughout the year, has still had potential savings to make.

He added: “We’re always looking at costs…We bought a big business from Lloyds Bank two years ago…We bought at precisely the right time in the market…It’s been a really, really good acquisition and we’re still working in a lot of integration there and taking out costs. So there’s still costs.”

Aberdeen Asset management said on Monday it will announce “a small number” of job cuts at the end of the month but said investment roles will be spared.

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