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Martin Gilbert hopes to win back £109bn mandate after insurance sale

Martin Gilbert hopes to win back £109bn mandate after insurance sale

Standard Life Aberdeen co-chief executive Martin Gilbert has said he is hopeful the sale of the insurance arm to Phoenix can help it win back the £109 billion mandate from Lloyds.

Last week Scottish Widows, which is owned by Lloyds, pulled its Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip) funds from Standard Life Aberdeen, with the insurer suffering a £40 million impairment charge after it lost the mandate as well as a drop to its share price.

This morning Standard Life Aberdeen announced the £3 billion sale of its insurance arm to Phoenix – it was this insurance division which was cited as the reason for the mandate being taken away by Lloyds as it was a competitor to Scottish Widows.

A ‘contest’ is now being held for these £109 billion of assets with Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio saying earlier this week he is receiving ‘a lot of interest’ from asset managers as he ruled out Lloyds managing the money itself through a new asset management arm.

Scottish Widows chief executive Antonio Lorenzo said earlier this week Standard Life Aberdeen is welcome to participate in this contest if it addresses its insurance competition - which it now seems to have done.

‘Many people want to participate [in the contest]. We welcome Standard Life Aberdeen to participate if they fix their problem with competition. We are not thinking to address this internally,’ he said.

Speaking to journalists this morning Standard Life Aberdeen chief executive Gilbert said he is hopeful of still winning back this mandate following the insurance sale. 

‘Let me make it absolutely clear we have not done this transaction to solve the competition issues, we have a good relationship with Lloyds,’ he said. ‘I think it was more out of sadness than anything that we reached where we were. But we felt this was the right transaction for Standard Life.

‘If it helps us win the mandate we would be delighted but we did a good job for their policy holders and clients to I expect hopefully we will get a chance to re-tender.’ 

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