Aberdeen’s assets drop as client withdraws £4bn

Aberdeen Asset Management’s assets dropped in the second quarter of 2014, following a substantial withdrawal by a major client.

In the three months to the end of June, the Asian Sovereign Wealth Fund withdrew £4bn from Asia Pacific and global equities mandates.

The withdrawal took total net outflows from Aberdeen’s assets in the period to £5.5bn, with money flowing out of equity, fixed income and Aberdeen Solutions products.

In addition, outflows from mandates run by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip) totalled £3.3bn, though Aberdeen said most of this represented “anticipated outflows” from certain elements of the recently acquired business.

The impact of the outflows, which totalled £8.8bn from the combined business, along with significant negative currency movements due to the strength of sterling, meant that Aberdeen’s total assets under management fell from £324.5bn at the end of March to £322.5bn at the end of June.

However, Aberdeen said it had been awarded £2bn of mandates in the period which did not appear in the results, while it claimed the £4bn single outflow came from a low-margin product.

The firm also claimed it had seen “some improvement in investor sentiment towards emerging market and Asia Pacific equities in the latest quarter”, led by significant interest in its emerging market debt range.