Standard Life chairman

Grimstone: ‘merger is huge platform for growth’

Gerry Grimstone

Sir Gerry Grimstone: confident

Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone has said the minimal overlap with Aberdeen Asset Management gave the newly combined company a huge platform for growth.

The two financial giants, which are expected to consummate their merger at shareholder meetings next month, are in different segments of the market and in different geographies, he said. Of each company’s top 50 clients they found that only four were shared.

Speaking ahead of Standard Life’s last AGM as an independent company, he stressed that the proposed merger was not defensive and he had every confidence that the shared CEO arrangement would work, not least because of their different personalities.

It is expected that some offices will close in the 16 locations where they are both present. He would not comment on the future of the Aberdeen Asset Management operations in the former SWIP offices in Morrison Street, Edinburgh.

However, it is accepted that some offices will be merged. Standard Life Investments will be expanding into new offices in St Andrew Square in the city.

He said that discussions were under way with key managers and that there would be some fall-out where two people are doing similar jobs. The companies have already stated that 800 roles are likely to be lost.

Sir Gerry stressed, however, that the plan was to grow the business and said new jobs would be created.

“We are creating a growth company and I would be disappointed if this company did not create jobs,” he said.

“Yes, there are places where there are two offices and you would expect this overlap to be eliminated.”

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