Aberdeen plans more cuts amid fund outflows

Michael Bow
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EUROPE’S biggest independent fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management yesterday said it will trim further costs from the business following its takeover of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip).

The business, led by chief executive Martin Gilbert, said outflows from its funds had slowed in March after a turnaround in investor sentiment towards key emerging market funds.

Aberdeen originally said it would make savings by merging Swip into the business. Yesterday it said it had identified “significant additional cost savings” on top of the Swip savings.

“There’s duplication in the business and there’s probably more costs to come out,” Gilbert told City A.M..

“There will be some job losses from the integration but the bulk of it will come from reducing discretionary spending, advertising and the bonus pool.” Gilbert added that Aberdeen had paid a “reasonable price” for Swip, which came to £550m.

The group said investors pulled £3.9bn from its funds in the first two months of the year but clients had a change of heart in March and only took back £200m.

“Emerging markets are getting a bit better. Sentiment more than anything else changed in March,” Gilbert added. “Emerging market shares have fallen and now they’re looking good value.”

Investors cheered the numbers from the group, listed on the FTSE 100, sending shares up 6.71 per cent.