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Standard Life Aberdeen axes co-chief roles as Gilbert steps down

Martin Gilbert has stepped down as co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, handing sole responsibility for leading the asset management giant to Keith Skeoch

Standard Life Aberdeen axes co-chief roles as Gilbert steps down

Martin Gilbert has stepped down as co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, handing sole responsibility for leading the asset management giant to Keith Skeoch.

The pair had been jointly running the company following the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen in 2017.

Gilbert (pictured) has now stepped down as co-chief executive to become vice chairman. He will be responsible for 'building strategic relationships' for Standard Life Aberdeen. 

Douglas Flint, chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen, said the decision to move to a single chief executive had the 'unanimous' backing of the board.

'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,' he said.

The board's decision will not come as a surprise to those who have followed the company's progress since the 2017 merger. Reports last month suggested leading shareholders in Standard Life Aberdeen wanted a change in leadership structure following a string of disappointing results since the merger.

In this morning's annual results for 2018 the company did not show much improvement on the previous year's struggles. The company recorded net outflows of £40.9 billion, as investors continued to pull money from underperforming funds. This compared to net outflows of £32.9 billion in 2017.

Gars suffered the most, with investors pulling £16.7 billion from the range that used to be Standard Life’s flagship fund offering. Total assets in the range have now fallen to £19.9 billion, compared with £37.4 billion last year.

Gars' difficult year was underlined by the fact that without it Standard Life Aberdeen's multi-asset arm would have recorded a net inflow £1 billion.

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