AssetCo names Gilbert chairman as it readies for acquisitions

AssetCo names Gilbert chairman as it readies for acquisitions

Martin Gilbert has been named chairman of AIM-listed AssetCo, as the business pursues a new strategy of acquisitions.

The founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, who bought a £3m stake in the firm in January, will take on this role from April 15. He replaces Tudor Davies who will become a non-executive director. 

At the same time former global head of private markets at Standard Life Aberdeen, Peter McKellar, will become deputy chairman. 

In a statement published on the stock exchange today (26 March), AssetCo confirmed it would seek to raise cash to execute its new strategy of making strategic acquisitions and developing the business, while "widening and strengthening" its shareholder base.

Davies explained that the AIM-listed firm had been able to accumulate £55m throughout 2020 and that the business would be pursuing an M&A strategy.

“However, there have been challenges in developing an overseas business in the Middle East, and the board decided it was appropriate to review the structure and future strategy of the company,” he added. 

“This led to a tender offer to buy back 50 per cent. of the share capital at a cost of £26.9m, followed by the proposal to utilise the AssetCo platform to build an exciting asset and wealth management business."

The new strategy will focus on strategic acquisitions in areas of the asset and wealth management sector.

AssetCo has already begun this expansion and in February 2021 doubled its stake in River & Mercantile to 5.85 per cent. Gilbert also sits on the board of this firm. 

In addition, the business is aiming to hire other “senior individuals” from the wealth and asset management sector to join its board.

A bonus scheme is being proposed to recruit and retain these people, which will include the creation of a yearly pool of assets equivalent to 20 per cent of the growth in total shareholder value, including dividends. 

Jon Yarker is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser