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Abrdn to merge its one-time star fund Gars

Abrdn has restructured its former top fund

An investment fund that was once Britain’s biggest will no longer operate as a standalone vehicle after years of weak performance.

Abrdn has confirmed that its Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars), had assets under management of almost £27bn as recently as 2016. Latest records show this is down to just £857m.

The fund was set up to fill the deficit in the pension scheme of Standard Life, the company had evolved into Abrdn. Its ‘absolute return’ objectives were later rolled out to institutional and wholesale clients.

The company has been reviewing Gars’ future for months.

In a statement, Russell Barlow, Abrdn’s head of multi-asset and alternative investment solutions, said: “My focus during the strategic review was to clarify roles, reduce inefficiency and increase collaboration ensuring we deliver the best outcomes possible for our clients.

“The new structure simplifies our processes and facilitates a greater comparison of opportunities across asset classes rather than being focused on research within single asset classes and products.

“I’m confident this approach is best suited to the needs of our clients in delivering strong performance outcomes across a more relevant product range.”

A spokesperson added: “This decision reflects our assessment of the demand from clients, and we regard the diversified assets funds as key to the development of our multi-asset business given the good performance over an extended period, a differentiated investment universe and a well-structured and repeatable process.”

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