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Aberdeen Standard Investments outflows soar to £41bn

Aberdeen Standard Investments outflows soar to £41bn

Aberdeen Standard Investments reported that outflows increased to £40.9 billion in 2018. 

In an eye-catching set of results, the group also announced that co-chief executive Martin Gilbert is to step back from the role.

Redemptions were up on last year’s £32.9 billion and pushed fee-based revenue down 11% from £2.1 billion to £1.9 billion year-on-year.

Parent Standard Life Aberdeen reported pre-tax operating profits were marginally down from £660 million to £650 million. The company said it has delivered cost efficiencies from the merger ahead of schedule, saving £175 million of the planned £350 million.

The company said it is maintaining its dividend at 2018 levels.

It added that the fund outflows are ‘concentrated in a small number of strategies’, citing its flagship Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars) franchise and equities, as two examples.

Research from Citywire revealed that Gars has suffered outflows of £17.2 billion since the start of last year. 

Gilbert, who from today becomes vice chairman, with Keith Skeoch taking on the sole CEO job, said: ‘In a tough year of continued change for our industry, we saw further net outflows - equivalent to about 7% of our starting assets. Yet as we have shown by our increased gross inflows, we continue to develop a business that has the scale and breadth to compete globally - and to continue to get closer to British savers through our growing platforms.’

Skeoch added: ‘We are working hard to deliver what is within our control. Our integration process is running ahead of schedule and is now roughly 75% complete even though we are less than halfway through the original timetable.

'We are encouraged by improvements in investment performance in key areas, and our 'new active' capabilities mean that we are set up well to capitalise on the trends and opportunities shaping our industry - while continuing to deliver value and returns for our shareholders.’

Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Nicholas Hyett said: 'Outflows from higher margin products mean revenues are still trickling away at SLA. Management seem to see that as an inevitable consequence of the transformation plan though – and are pointing investors in the direction of some fairly impressive cost savings and the strong performance of the retail platforms as better indicators of where the group’s headed.

'The company can’t afford to lose too much institutional money though, which probably explains why Martin Gilbert is being kept firmly within the fold despite stepping down as co-CEO. Gilbert built Aberdeen Asset Management on relationships with global institutions, and he remains key to maintaining those relationships and winning new business.'

Shares in SLA had a muted response to the news, up 6.45p, or 2.63%, at 251.55p at 10:00am.

 

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