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Branding switch

Bird poised to drop Standard Life Aberdeen name

Aberdeen Standard Investments golf

Standard Life Aberdeen trades mainly through its ASI brand (pic: Terry Murden)

Standard Life Aberdeen is expected to change its name as part of a deal with the insurer Phoenix Group which bought a big chunk of the business in 2018.

New chief executive, Stephen Bird, is said to be close to agreeing a deal that would see Phoenix acquire the historic name.

Codenamed Project Hulkum the changeover could be announced within days but not implemented until later this year, according to Sky News.

That transaction would confirm recent speculation and extend the terms of the partnership forged early in 2018 when Phoenix acquired the insurance business and the right to the Standard Life Assurance name. The £3.24 billion deal confirmed Standard Life’s long-held ambition to focus on asset management.

Standard Life house

Standard Life’s former home, now the HQ of Phoenix

Since succeeding Keith Skeoch last year Mr Bird has embarked on a shift of priorities at the company.

He has already sold an advisory business, and wants to focus on four distinct areas – global asset management, fund adviser platforms, strategic partnerships, and retail savings and wealth. There has been speculation that he would tackle the company’s branding.

Daily Business predicted a possible name change in our forecasts for the year on 3 January

Since the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017 critics have said the company’s branding has been a source of confusion.

Standard Life Aberdeen is based in Edinburgh, while its main trading business is Aberdeen Standard Investments which may also be dropped, although the Aberdeen name plays well in the Asian market.

Standard Life’s former home in Lothian Road is now the head office of Phoenix.

The company has not commented on the speculation.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Standard Investments will end its sponsorship of the Ladies Scottish Open golf tournament.

A spokesman for the company told The Scotsman: “We have recently reviewed our marketing priorities and spend to better align with Standard Life Aberdeen’s growth strategy.

“As part of this, we will no longer be sponsoring the Ladies Scottish Open. This was a commercial decision based on best aligning our resources to support the long-term success of our business.

“The Ladies Scottish Open is a fantastic event, and we’re proud of the success it has had during the 12 years we’ve been title partner.”

Ladies Scottish Open golf loses ASI sponsorship: full story

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