Martin Gilbert joins River and Mercantile board

Martin Gilbert joins River and Mercantile board
Martin Gilbert, former chief executive and co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, joins River and Mercantile as deputy chairman

City veteran Martin Gilbert has joined the board of River and Mercantile as deputy chairman.

The value fund house announced today (January 6) that Mr Gilbert, former chief executive and co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, had been appointed deputy chairman of the board.

Jonathan Dawson, River and Mercantile chairman, said: “We are delighted that Martin will be joining the River and Mercantile board. 

“Martin has had an exceptionally distinguished career in asset management as one of the founders and chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management. 

“He brings huge experience of the sector and we all look forward to working with him to develop River and Mercantile into a substantial growth business.”

In May last year, Mr Gilbert stood down as chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments after 37 years at the company, having co-founded Aberdeen Asset Management and led the firm into a merger with Standard Life to create Aberdeen Standard Investments in 2017.

Mr Gilbert was co-chief executive of the combined firm at the time of the merger but later moved to the deputy chairman role.

Since leaving the company, he has joined the board of challenger fintech bank Revolut and London-based private family office Saranac Partners, alongside his roles as director at Glencore and chairman of Toscafund.

Mr Gilbert said River and Mercantile had “great potential”. 

He added: “In the current environment there are market opportunities for River and Mercantile, both organic and through acquisitions, that can drive shareholder value and I look forward to working with the board to help progress this development.”

River and Mercantile has set its sights on growth throughout 2020, announcing it was to invest in its distribution with a £3.8m investment across its UK, Australia and US businesses. 

It has also been on the hunt for fund managers in a bid to expand its expertise and the firm has already hired James Sym from Schroders to develop its European equity strategy.

In October, River and Mercantile said it was looking to at least double its assets under management over the next five years and become more recognisable as a “pure asset management company”.

The firm has faced some challenges over the past few years, primarily due to the hangover left by the Philip Rodrigs saga.

In a high-profile exit in 2018, Mr Rodrigs was dismissed from his role as manager of the River and Mercantile UK Smaller Companies fund, and the River and Mercantile Dynamic Equity fund, following a professional conduct matter.

The fund house also faced an FCA probe into unrelated matters regarding IPO shares.

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