Victory for Standard Life Aberdeen

Lloyds to transfer £100bn SLA funds despite ruling

Keith Skeoch

Keith Skeoch: ‘we will carefully consider our next steps’

Lloyds acted illegally when it withdrew a £100 billion asset management contract from Standard Life Aberdeen in early 2018, a tribunal has ruled.

In particular, the arbitral tribunal has ruled that LBG was not entitled to give notice, on 14 February 2018, to terminate the investment management agreements in respect of assets managed by members of the Standard Life Aberdeen group.  

In a statement this morning Standard Life Aberdeen said it is “carefully considering the terms of the decision and appropriate next steps.  In the meantime, the Company will continue to manage the assets in the best interests of LBG’s customers.”

As at 31 December 2018, the value of the assets under management in respect of these arrangements was c£100bn, and no material amount of assets has since been withdrawn. The loss of the contract represented around 17% of SLA’s assets.

Keith Skeoch, chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, pictured, said: “Now that the arbitration panel has ruled in our favour, we will carefully consider our next steps, working constructively with LBG to bring the matter to resolution.”

Lloyds pulled the portfolio of pension funds, managed  by Aberdeen, claiming that the merger of Aberdeen and Standard Life created a competition issue. It subsequently allocated management of the fund to Blackrock and Schroders. It later announced the formation of a joint venture with Schroders.

A spokesperson for Scottish Widows said: “We are disappointed with the decision of the arbitration tribunal, and will look to discuss its outcome with Standard Life Aberdeen.

“Our strategy remains unchanged, which is to do the right thing for customers. We will discuss starting the process of an orderly transfer of assets to our new partners BlackRock and Schroders.

“We will continue to work closely with Standard Life Aberdeen to ensure there is no disruption to performance or service.”

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