Aberdeen eyes more cost cuts amid tough market

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert. Picture: Neil Hanna

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert. Picture: Neil Hanna

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Aberdeen Asset Management today said it expects market conditions to remain “difficult” as it announced the retirement of chairman Roger Cornick.

The fund manager, which saw its assets under management rise from £283.7 billion to £290.6bn during the three months to 31 December, also said it has identified further cost savings on top of a previous target of £50 million.

More details about the cost cuts will be given alongside the fund manager’s half-year results, due in May.

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Cornick – who has been on the board for 12 years and became chairman in January 2009 – will be succeeded by senior independent non-executive director Simon Troughton on 30 September.

Aberdeen also said that non-executive director Jim Pettigrew, the president of accounting trade body Icas and chairman of Clydesdale Bank, will step down from its board on 23 April.

The boardroom changes came as Aberdeen, which has been on a recent acquisition spree, said that net outflows from its funds had slowed despite the market volatility.

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Net outflows came to £9.1bn in the final three months of 2015, compared with £12.7bn in the quarter ending 30 September, and chief executive Martin Gilbert said: “Like the rest of the industry we continue to contend with the structural imbalances of the global economy and the cyclical slowdown in emerging markets, as well as the impact of falling oil and commodity prices.

“Despite the day-to-day fluctuations in investor sentiment we remain focused on those issues that we can control. We are committed to our fundamental approach to investing, managing the business efficiently with a keen focus on costs and most of all striving to deliver the long-term returns that our clients and shareholders have come to expect from Aberdeen.”

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