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Gilbert to stand down as SLA chief executive

Gilbert to stand down as SLA chief executive

Martin Gilbert has stepped down as co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen as the company made several changes to its board.

SLA said the changes would simplify its reporting lines and help in the next stage of its transition after the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017.

As part of these changes, the board unanimously approved the dissolution of its co-chief executive structure. 

This means Keith Skeoch has become sole chief executive and Mr Gilbert will become vice-chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen and chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments in recognition of the "critical importance of his client facing responsibilities".

He will continue to be an executive director on the board. 

Mr Gilbert's base salary will remain at £600,000 but the maximum percentage of his bonus will be cut from 600 per cent to 350 per cent.

He will focus on strategic relationships with key clients and building the group’s global network and product capabilities. 

Meanwhile finance director Bill Rattray will retire at the end of May and will be succeeded by Stephanie Bruce, who will be appointed chief financial officer and executive director in June, subject to approval by shareholders.

Ms Bruce has more than 25 years’ experience in the sector, having been a partner at PwC and a member of the Assurance Executive since 2016. 

Director Richard Mully will also retire from the board at the conclusion of the 2019 annual general meeting in May.  

The board is now comprised of four executive directors, five non-executive directors and the chairman, and will be made up of four women and six men.

The changes follow SLA's 2018 full-year results, announced today (13 February), which showed the company was hit by the downturn in equity markets and weak investor sentiment, with assets under management dropping from £608.1bn to £551.5bn.

Sir Douglas Flint, SLA's chairman, said: "A great deal has been achieved by both Martin and Keith to drive the business forward, and leave us well placed for the future. The changes that we have announced today have the unanimous backing of the board.

"The new structure will strengthen our client focus, simplify reporting lines and facilitate robust execution of the next stages of our transition and transformation programmes."