Fund management role

Ex-SLA comms chief reunited with old boss Gilbert

James Thorneley

James Thorneley: got the call

James Thorneley, former head of communications at Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Aberdeen has been reunited with his old boss Martin Gilbert.

He has teamed up with the founder of AAM and former co-CEO at SLA in his new acquisitions vehicle AssetCo which has just completed its first big deal, acquiring Edinburgh-based Saracen Fund Managers.

Mr Thorneley spent the best part of 20 years providing the media service for Mr Gilbert at AAM and was appointed to run the comms team when it merged with Standard Life in 2017.

He left in November last year and considered working within a PR agency, or going in-house for another financial services company. 

He also kept in contact with his former employer “and have always appreciated his guidance”, he said.

“He told me about AssetCo and what he, Peter [Mckellar, formerly head of private markets at Standard Life Aberdeen] and the team are looking to do.

“It’s an exciting time to launch a new business within the asset and wealth management space given the challenges and opportunities incumbents are facing. So when Martin offered me the opportunity to join, I couldn’t say no. I joined at the beginning of May.

“Martin’s a true entrepreneur and I’m excited to have joined AssetCo at the start of its journey. It’ll be a lot of hard work, but hopefully fun.”

During lockdown he lightened his days working from home by appearing on social media wearing a variety of fancy dress outfits.

“Hopefully, if the outfits I’ve worn over the last few months are anything to go by, I’ve got some career options,” he said at the time.”

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