More departures from SLI/Aberdeen forecast

Following the departure of David Cumming, Standard Life Investments’ head of Equities, in the wake of the confirmation of the merger between SLI’s parent Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, there is now speculation from recruitment agencies of further departures on the basis of other provider firms opening the purse-strings to attract investment talent.

Noting Cumming’s departure ( ), Paul Cook, CEO of executive search consultancy Alderbrooke suggests that this may not be the last in the wake of the merger deal.

“Hiring on the buy-side is very active in London currently,” Cook said.

“Several larger firms have removed hiring freezes, whilst boutiques are also looking to increase their market share. As a result, we have seen search requests from asset managers double in the first two months of this year when compared with 2016. Product specialists and portfolio managers, as well as those working in distribution, are in high demand, especially with passive funds.”

“We have already seen one senior executive taking his chances elsewhere. Given the uncertainty that this merger will bring, we will see more movement of this kind soon.”

According to the Scotsman, a paper based in Edinburgh, where Standard Life also has its headquarters, there are concerns that “several hundred jobs are at risk” given the synergies noted in the official announcement of the merger. The two companies said in a presentation published on 6 March that the savings would consist of “£200m annual pre-tax run-rate cost synergies“.


Jonathan Boyd
Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope. Jonathan has over two decades of media experience in Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK. Over the past 17 years he has been based in London writing about funds and investments. From editing the newsletter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan in the 1990s he now focuses on Nordic markets for InvestmentEurope. Jonathan was awarded Editor of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) Independent Publisher Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the same in 2016, he was also shortlisted in 2017 and 2015 for the broader PPA Awards category Editor of the Year (Business Media).

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