Aberdeen’s Gilbert ‘plans five more years’

Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert told Reuters in an interview he plans to remain in the top job for at least five more years and that his firm would prefer to stay independent “as long as our shareholders are willing to support us.”

Aberdeen’s share price has dropped by almost half in the past year as the fund management firm has suffered persistent outflows.

“Every investment banker in the world would probably have us on their list as the number one buying opportunity,” Gilbert, 60, told Reuters.

“I bet in America — because all the Americans want what we have — they’re going round saying ‘maybe you should buy Aberdeen’,” he said.

“What we’ve always said is being independent is a massive advantage to us and as long as our shareholders are willing to support us we’d rather stay independent,” he said.

About 35% of Aberdeen’s shareholders recently voted against Aberdeen’s executive pay packages, Reuters reported.

“What I have said is that I will give the board at least two years notice before I step down so they have time to plan, and I haven’t told them that the two years has started,” Gilbert said.

“I’d like to go on another five years at least. I enjoy it. And when you have as much experience as I have, you don’t worry about things, and it is quite relaxing.”

Read the full Reuters interview here: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-aberdeen-asset-management-ceo-idUKKCN0WQ196