Standard Life Investments  

Eight Standard Life fund managers depart for rival Aviva

Eight Standard Life fund managers depart for rival Aviva

Aviva Investors have hired eight equity fund managers from Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The eight had all previously worked for Standard Life Investments, before the firm merged with Aberdeen Asset Management last year.

The senior staff join in the wake of David Cumming, former head of equities at Standard Life, joining Aviva Investors in the same role in January.

The managers to depart Standard Life for Aviva include Mikhail Zverev and Alistair Way, who will join as head of global equities and head of global emerging market equities, respectively. Both had performed similar roles at Standard Life.

Henry Flockhart joins as a UK equity fund manager, as does Adam McInally.

Jaime Ramos Martin, Stephanie Niven and Ross Mathison will join as global equities portfolio managers, reporting to Mikhail Zverev; while Jonathan Toub and Will Malcom join as global emerging markets portfolio managers, reporting to Mr Way.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Niven joins Aviva from the Tesco Pension fund.

All of the new hires, with the exception of Ms Niven, will be based in Aviva Investors' newly established Edinburgh office.

Euan Munro, chief executive officer at Aviva Investors, is himself a former Standard Life employee. He joined Aviva Investors in 2013.

He said: “Investing in our equities capabilities is a strategic priority for our business. These hires will enhance our ability to offer compelling equity propositions for wholesale and institutional investors, as well as strengthening idea generation for our broader range of investment solutions."

Mr Munro was instrumental in creating the Standard Life Global Absolute Return Strategy (Gars) at Standard Life, and since joining Aviva has launched a similar absolute return product at that firm.

Since merging, Standard Life Investments and Aberdeen Asset Management have merged a number of funds and investment trusts.  

Ben Seager-Scott, chief investment strategist at Tilney Group, said: “It looks like Aviva has seen a great strategic opportunity in the Standard Life/Aberdeen acquisition.

"With David Cumming heading over last year, it is not a huge surprise and the incentives for the team are pretty clear. It seems like a good development for Aviva, who are probably best known to most retail investors for their Multi-Strategy Target Return funds and their property fund, so it makes sense to take the opportunity to broaden out its offering.”

david.thorpe@ft.com