Little is yet known on how a merged Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management will look, and a burst of recent Companies House filings suggest that even the name of the combined group is proving to be elusive.
The group, set to become the UK’s largest active fund manager with a market value of £11 billion and assets under administration of £660 billion, has registered 16 separate companies.
All incorporate both Standard and Aberdeen, while some feature Standard Life. Among the variations, the only one missing appears to be Standard Aberdeen Life. And who wants that anyway?
It is not just the branding of the two companies that is up in the air – there are also variations which include Asset Management, Investment Management, Investments as well as Group.
A further search, which took Wealth Manager to the Intellectual Property Office, revealed that the powers-that-be decided to be more parsimonious there, making only four applications.
The names that made the cut are: Standard Life Aberdeen, Aberdeen Standard Life, Standard Aberdeen and Aberdeen Standard. All four applications are in examination status.
In related documents published alongside the announcement of the merger last week, Aberdeen stated that it was agreed the top company branding will include elements of both names. However, the investment division ‘will lead with Aberdeen branding’, it said.
The companies anticipate that the merger will complete in the third quarter of 2017, so we should be able to find out then at the latest what the final name will be. Will it result in dropping Life
from the name, indicating a further step away from Standard’s insurance roots?
There will surely be a lot of speculation in the run up to the completion, but here is what we know so far. Under the terms of the merger, Aberdeen shareholders would own 33.3% and Standard Life 66.7% of the combined group.
Aberdeen CEO Martin Gilbert (pictured left) and Standard Life CEO Keith Skeoch (right) will become co-CEOs, while Bill Rattray of Aberdeen and Rod Paris of Standard Life become CFO and CIO respectively.