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Standard Life Wealth to change name as it eyes North West expansion

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Standard Life Wealth to change name as it eyes North West expansion

Standard Life Wealth (SLW) is set to change its name as it plans to expand in the North West with an office in Manchester.

SLW’s chief executive Richard Charnock revealed the discretionary fund manager (DFM) is reviewing its brand following last year’s merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

He said: ‘It’s the elephant in the room. We have Standard Life Aberdeen, Aberdeen Standard Investments, but [SLW] has remained the same.

‘[The name] will change, but we have no timeframe on it at the moment.’

Charnock also revealed the firm is planning to open an office in Manchester as it looks to expand its reach to the North West, something which is difficult to do from its Leeds branch.

SLW currently has offices in London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham.

Charnock said: ‘We would quite like an office in the North West, but we have to hire a team first. I’m from Manchester, so I’d quite like an office there!

‘We have a good presence in Leeds but really we’d need boots on the ground in Manchester. We are looking to expand into Lancashire and the North West at some point.’

The SLW chief executive added that the firm is also looking to boost its offshore presence, and described last year’s merger as a ‘big win’ as it taps into Aberdeen Asset Management’s offshore capability.

Outlining his firm’s plans for the year, Charnock also refused to rule out the possibility of introducing performance fees to SLW’s fee structure in the future.

SLW had considered using performance fees previously but decided not to go ahead with them.

Deutsche Bank’s wealth arm currently offers performance fees in strategies ‘where there is client demand’ and in ‘geographies where it is legally appropriate’, but is the only wealth manager in the UK known to currently offer them.

Charnock said: ‘We did look at performance fees before but decided against it. We found they were hard to administer and it was easy to overcharge clients.

‘But we wouldn’t rule out having another look at performance fees in future.’

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