Board exit

McKellar splits with Gilbert and departs AssetCo

Peter McKellar, left, and Martin Gilbert

Peter McKellar, who helped Scottish financial services veteran Martin Gilbert seize control of and run AssetCo, is leaving the struggling asset management consolidation vehicle. 

The former Standard Life executive will retire as deputy chair and executive director of the company at the end of this month.

He will concentrate on his other roles, which include board roles at 3i Group, Scottish Enterprise and Princess Private Equity.

Mr McKellar’s exit comes against a backdrop of growing problems at AssetCo which has not ruled out redundancies.

He teamed up with Mr Gilbert, the founder and CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management and later co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen, when they made their move to take control of AssetCo in January 2021.

Mr Gilbert, who became chairman, has used the company as a consolidation vehicle, mopping up a number of small players including Colin McLean’s SVM Asset Management Holdings and Saracen Fund Managers, as well as River and Mercantile.

However, in a challenging market, AssetCo’s current market value today of just £48m is about a fifth below its level when Mr Gilbert and his partners took their stake.

In the new announcement, Mr Gilbert said he understood Mr McKellar’s reasons for wanting to retire and that he would remain a ‘significant shareholder’ in the company. He is understood to own 2.7%.

AssetCo’s full-year results to the end of September last year showed losses grew to £26.7m from £8.5m in the previous year.

Campbell Fleming stepped down as CEO last June after what he described as an “extremely demanding 20 months”. 

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