‘Swip deal about growth not job cuts’: Aberdeen’s Gilbert

Aberdeen Asset Management’s chief executive Martin Gilbert has said the £550m deal to buy Scottish Widows Investment Partnership is about growth rather than job cuts.

Asked about job cuts on a conference call, Mr Gilbert said it was too early to give specific details but added his prime goal was to grow the combined business.

“Where there is duplication there will be some job losses but this is prefaced on growth rather than jobs,” he said.

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The chief executive also said the Investment Solutions business, which sits between Lloyds Banking Group and Swip and creates wealth management products for the bank’s customers, was key to the deal.

“I think it was the solutions business that sits between Swip and Lloyds that made the deal more attractive than it was before,” he said.

“The aim is to work with Lloyds to increase their market share in the wealth management space in the UK. Lloyds is the dominant UK retail bank and wants to be a bigger player in the wealth market.

“We want to do our bit to help them achieve that and if they do that we will have to pay £100m, which will be a fantastic deal because the assets under management and business that flows in will more than pay that.”

The chief executive said Aberdeen would work with Lloyds to “develop the right offerings for the branches” and added this would be important for the business in the future.

“We want to compete as everyone goes to narrowing down the list of providers they are using globally,” he said.

“We aim to be one of those 10 that most people are going to shrink their list down to.”

Mr Gilbert said Swip was complimentary to Aberdeen’s existing business and would improve its capabilities particularly in fixed income and property.

In terms of equities, Mr Gilbert said if the Swip products remained run based on a quantitative system then the company would need the existing Swip managers.

Mr Gilbert addressed the fact both groups had big multi-manager propositions by saying customers would have a “stronger service”.

The announcement of the deal came as the group announced its full-year profits which showed revenues pass the £1bn mark for the first time.

The group said net revenues reached nearly £1.1bn - up 24 per cent from the £869.2m figure in 2012.

Assets under management increased by 7 per cent to £200.4bn, up from £187.2bn in 2012.