SLA’s Gilbert joins London-based private family office

SLA’s Gilbert joins London-based private family office
 Martin Gilbert, former chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen

Martin Gilbert has joined the board of Saranac Partners as a non-executive director.

The London-based private family office announced today (November 11) it had appointed Mr Gilbert — who had been a “long-standing supporter” of the business — to its board on November 1.

Mr Gilbert was deputy chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments before retiring from the role in May 2020.

When Standard Life merged with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017, the company Mr Gilbert co-founded in 1983, he became joint chief executive but later moved to the deputy chairman role.

Since leaving the firm, he has also joined the board of challenger fintech bank Revolut, alongside his roles as director at Glencore and chairman of Toscafund.

Tanvi Davda, managing partner at Saranac Partners, said: “We are delighted to welcome Martin to the board. 

“He offers unrivalled credentials in this sector and will bring outstanding insight to Saranac Partners, as well as an unparalleled network of contacts. His experience will be invaluable to the growth of Saranac Partners.”

A strong proponent of active management, Mr Gilbert recently said the role of active funds would be “tested and proven” amid the crisis and emerge strong from the global pandemic.

He has also previously defended the role of star fund managers, despite the Neil Woodford saga, claiming that having a star fund manager at a portfolio’s helm was still the easiest way to sell funds.

Saranac was launched by former Barclays executive Tom Kalaris in August 2016 to provide advice and investment management to ultra-high net worth clients.

When it launched, it had partnerships with what was then Aberdeen Asset Management and Iress, which provided the company’s platform.

Saranac’s accounts show the firm reported an operating loss of £9.6m for 2019, narrowing its losses from the £13.2m reported for 2018. In 2019, its revenue of £7.4m was less than the £12.5m it spent on employee costs alone.

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