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Setback for Standard Life Aberdeen

Lloyds expected to share out £109bn Widows mandate

Gerry GrimstoneAberdeen Standard Investments’ hopes of retaining a Lloyds Banking Group fund appear to have been dashed as it is expected to be shared out among at least two asset managers.

Lloyds is understood to be splitting the £109 billion Scottish Widows mandate which it withdrew from Edinburgh-based ASI in February, claiming that the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management created a competition issue.

BlackRock, JPMorgan Asset Management, Schroders and Goldman Sachs are believed to be in the running for the contract, with the money set to be allocated between two or three of the investment companies, according to Financial Adviser.

Standard Life Aberdeen’s asset managers had run the account from 2014 and the dispute is currently subject to arbitration.

Chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone (pictured) told the media last week that its legal advisers “do not believe Standard Life Aberdeen is in competition” [with Lloyds Banking Group].

The agreement was due to run until 2022 and SLA has been confident of persuading Lloyds to renew the mandate. However, Sir Gerry described it as “low margin” business which contributes just £40m to annual profits.

Even so, Lloyds is understood to have been flooded with enquiries from funds interested in handling the business.

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