Aberdeen Asset Management has suffered its first fund manager departure following the announcement of its planned merger with Standard Life, with Fiona Gillespie, senior investment manager on its multi-asset division leaving.
Gillespie managed the firm's Multi-Asset fund after joining Aberdeen through its acquisition of Edinburgh Fund Managers in 2003. Over one year, she returned 22.2% in the Mixed Assets - Aggressive GBP sector, ahead of the average manager return of 19%.
Aberdeen's multi-asset team is viewed as vulnerable as the two companies look for £200 million merger savings given that Standard Life Investments has a clear lead in this area with its £26 billion Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars) fund.
An Aberdeen Asset Management spokesperson said: 'Fiona told us of her wish to pursue other interests at the end of last year. Her responsibilities have been shared across our Aberdeen Solutions and Multi-Asset teams, incorporating over 70 investment professionals.
'Heather McKay, senior portfolio manager, will work alongside Mike Turner in managing the Aberdeen Multi-Asset Fund. We are immensely grateful to Fiona for her contribution over the years and wish her well for the future.'