Abrdn shakes up investment management top team

Abrdn shakes up investment management top team

Abrdn, formerly Standard Life Aberdeen, has shaken up its management team as it prepares for the retirement of its chief investment officer.

Rod Paris will retire from the role at the end of this year after nearly 20 years at the firm.

In light of his retirement, the group will reorganise its structure, dividing its investment management team into public markets, real assets, solutions and central investments.

The heads of each team will report to chief executive Stephen Bird.

Global head of equities Devan Kaloo will take on the additional role of global head of public markets, and global head of fixed income Craig Macdonald will also become deputy head of public markets.

Former head of real estate Neil Slater will manage the firm’s real assets franchise as well as heading up the group’s infrastructure capabilities.

The head of the solutions team will be Robert McKillop who currently leads the global product and solutions business.

Central investments will be led by Archie Struthers, who also leads on responsible investing and stewardship activity.

CEO Bird said: “When Rod and I first spoke about his plans several months ago, our priority was to ensure continuity and clarity to clients – while also putting in place a structure that empowers the talented team we have at Abrdn, and the significant expertise and experience they have in delivering for our clients.

“Investment management is at the heart of what we do and I believe that this evolution to our structure will allow us to better align with the evolving needs of our clients, and the pace and scale of change across the industry.

"It’s indicative of the confident, futurist business that our new brand Abrdn represents.”

He added: “Rod has worked in financial services for 40 years and been with the company since 2002. He has made an enormous contribution to the company over that time and we thank him wholeheartedly for the value he has created.”

At the end of April, the firm formerly known as Standard Life Aberdeen changed its name to Abrdn as it moved to refocus the business following the sale of the Standard Life brand.

The rebrand marked a new beginning for a company that had struggled somewhat since it arose from the merger of two bastions of the financial services world.

SLA sold the Standard Life name to FTSE 100 insurance firm Phoenix Group in February as the firms extended their strategic partnership.

At the time the firm said it would re-focus the business on three strands: global asset management, technology platforms for UK financial advisers and their customers, and UK savings and wealth.

The name change drew criticism from the industry, with some calling the vowel-shy name “preposterous”.

However, Mark Polson, principal of the Lang Cat, told FTAdviser at the time: “What is actually important to firms and their clients comes down to two questions: is this a safe home for my clients’ money, and can it assist me in delivering my service and investment proposition to my clients?