Speculation over next move

Gilbert leaving Standard Life Aberdeen for fresh challenge

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert: ‘incredible journey’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Asset management industry veteran Martin Gilbert is to retire from Standard Life Aberdeen next year, ending a long association with the company.

He will not seek re-election to the board at its annual meeting in May, and will leave next September.

His decision is likely to heighten speculation over his further involvement in the challenger fintech bank Revolut where he is tipped to become chairman. In July Standard Life Aberdeen denied he would be leaving the company.

In a statement today he said he is looking forward to “fresh challenges”.

Mr Gilbert founded Aberdeen Asset Management in the early 1980s and merged the business with Standard Life in 2017.

He controversially shared chief executive duties with SL’s Keith Skeoch until the roles were split this year and he became vice chairman.

A statement from the company today said he will continue to focus on strengthening the group’s relationships with clients, winning new business for the group and realising the potential from its global network and capabilities.  

He will pass on his client and key regulatory relationships to executive colleagues and certain key public policy, industry body relationships to the Chairman.  As part of this transition, those senior executives currently reporting directly to Mr Gilbert will move their reporting lines under a revised structure.

Sir Douglas Flint, Chairman, said: “It is impossible to overstate Martin’s achievement in building Aberdeen Asset Management into a truly global and widely respected investment firm.

“His ability to attract talent to deliver that success and his unrelenting commitment to the firm’s clients leave a legacy of which he should be immensely proud and which serves as a solid foundation for our future success.

“His foresight to see the opportunities that led to the combination that created Standard Life Aberdeen and his tireless efforts to realise these opportunities post-merger are hugely valued by all his colleagues who now take up the responsibility to deliver on them.

“On behalf of the board and fellow shareholders, I would like to thank Martin for his dedicated service and contributions to Standard Life Aberdeen, particularly as it came together after our merger in August 2017”.

Mr Gilbert, said: “It has been an incredible journey, almost unimaginable from the earliest days when we were just three people in one office in Aberdeen with £50 million under management to today’s total in excess of £500 billion.  For more than 30 years,

“I have been fortunate to have worked with brilliant people all across the Company, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues – past and present – who have supported me on this journey.  I will leave the Company in extremely good hands, and well positioned for further growth and prosperity.  

“I am very proud of our achievements over the past three decades, but I still have a great enthusiasm for growing and guiding businesses and I am looking forward to fresh challenges in the next stage of my career.  Nevertheless, Standard Life Aberdeen will always be close to my heart, and I wish everyone associated with the Company all the very best for the future.”

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