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Combining Standard Life and Aberdeen to take three years

Combining Standard Life and Aberdeen to take three years

The integration of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management could take three years, after the two companies reported that their merger had been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority.

A spokesman for the provider said the two businesses are on track to become a single entity on 14 August but that moving offices and IT systems would take far longer.

“It’s a big deal” he said, indicating a three-year timeframe had been set for pulling together the two businesses.

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Despite the Competition and Markets Authority clearing the deal today (22 June) there are still some regulatory hurdles to jump, including Financial Conduct Authority clearance, before the merger can go ahead.

The merged company will be the biggest asset manager in the UK, with £660bn of assets under management.

The deal, an all share takeover, values Aberdeen at £3.8bn, and the merged entity at £11bn.

Shareholders of both companies voted to approve the merger earlier this week.

Eight hundred jobs are expected to go following the deal, which will see the merged entity remain headquartered in Scotland.The board will contain equal representation from both businesses, and more than £35m is being paid out in retention bonuses to keep top executive talent.

Earlier this week Aberdeen's vote on the merger saw 95 per cent of shareholders back the vote.

Financial advisers said that they could see the rationale for the merger.

“It is good for them because it will bring down their costs,” said Scott Gallacher, director of Leicester-based IFA Rowley Turton. He added that it was too early to say whether it would reduce choice for investors.

Patrick Connolly, Chartered financial planner at Chase de Vere, said: “Standard Life and Aberdeen have strength in different areas and so appear to be a good fit.

"This should be beneficial for many of their investors if the combined company can retain their key individuals, although of course there are no guarantees.”

rosie.murray-west@ft.com