Tuesday 30 June 2020 9:27 am

Standard Life Aberdeen boss Keith Skeoch to step down

Standard Life Aberdeen today announced chief executive Keith Skeoch is stepping down after five years at the helm.

The departure of Skeoch, who will be replaced by former Citigroup executive Stephen Bird, comes just months after chairman Martin Gilbert left the firm.

Read more: Standard Life Aberdeen reports ‘modest’ coronavirus hit with assets at £490bn

Skeoch was one of the architects of the £11bn merger of Standard Life Investments and Aberdeen Asset Management. He had served as co-chief executive with Gilbert after the merger in 2017, but the use of two bosses was unpopular among shareholders.

In a statement this morning, Standard Life Aberdeen said: “With integration well progressed and having built significant balance sheet strength, this appointment launches the next phase of evolution aimed at developing and expanding the revenue opportunities available to SLA and marks the culmination of a wide-ranging succession planning exercise.”

Last month the fund manager said the pandemic had only a modest impact on business and estimated total assets o nearly £500bn at the end of April.

Excluding around £25bn linked to the withdrawal of a large mandate by Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Life said it had estimated net inflows of £1bn.

Read more: Standard Life Aberdeen profit slips as investors withdraw funds

Bird will take over as chief executive designate on 1 July, the fund manager said. He spent 21 years with Citigroup most recently serving as head of global consumer banking. Prior to that he served as chief executive for Citigroup’s Asia Pacific business across 17 markets in the region.

Standard Life Aberdeen chairman Sir Douglas Flint said: “The transition from Keith Skeoch was always going to be a challenge to deliver, given the incredible scale and range of his contributions to the success of the company over many years.  I am however extremely pleased to say we have found a truly worthy successor.”

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