Which boss will get the biggest office after Standard Life/ AAM merger?

It's a mega-marriage that will create the biggest fund management business outside of North America, trigger hundreds of job losses and provide City advisers with nearly £100 million in fees.
AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham FlackAAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack
AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack

And now we have gained some insight into which of the two Standard Life Aberdeen bosses will have the biggest office come moving in day.

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It would appear that Martin Gilbert, the straight-talking co-founder and current chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM), is set to eschew the trappings of high office at the £11 billion-plus combined entity in his soon-to-be role of “co-chief executive office” – a title that he will share with current Standard Life boss Keith Skeoch.

AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham FlackAAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack
AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack

This week’s lengthy prospectus put out by the two Scottish financial giants did not dwell on the office arrangements for the twin leaders, but quizzed at a business dinner in Edinburgh last night on who might gain the greatest acreage in which to wheel and deal, Gilbert was unequivocal.

“I prefer working open-plan alongside my team,” he replied, making it clear that he is not one to be cooped up in wood-panelled splendour.

A candid Gilbert stressed that the combined firm was “too big a business for one person”, joking that Skeoch “does the stuff I don’t like doing – I was a pretty bad fund manager”.

AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham FlackAAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack
AAM boss Martin Gilbert, left, said Standard Life's Keith Skeoch 'does the stuff I don't like doing'. Picture: Graham Flack

The AAM boss, it would seem, is going to have his hands pretty full building client relationships and overseeing international work.

Of the 800 or so job cuts planned from a combined 9,000-strong global workforce, the vast majority are likely to arise from “natural turnover” and be spilt roughly 50:50 between the two headcounts.

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