Gilbert: ‘I’ve got a few more years in me’

Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert has told Fund Strategy that “I’ve got a few more years in me” as the boss at the fund manager and that “there is a glimmer of hope this year, but no more” for Aberdeen’s investment philosophy.

Gilbert told Reuters last month he plans to remain in the top job for at least five more years.

“It’s been a tough three years as emerging markets and value investing have been out of fashion,” Gilbert told Fund Strategy in an interview.

“There is a glimmer of hope this year, but no more.

“The key is just to keep the faith, keep the style, don’t cut at the point of maximum pain and don’t try to trade your way out of the situation.

“Just wait until markets come back our way.”

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

According to Reuters, Aberdeen’s assets under management at the end of September last year were £283.7 billion, down from £324.4 billion a year earlier.

Asked about his own future as CEO of Aberdeen, he replied: “You never know in this business, I might be marched out of the office one day.

“I’m not complacent, I get paid to worry and I worry about everything, including my own job security.

“I’ll keep doing it as long as the board want me to.

“Hopefully it will, I’ve got a few more years in me.”

Gilbert dismissed recent speculation that he has been looking for a buyer for Aberdeen.

“That was such complete rubbish. We have made it absolutely clear that was just complete rubbish. In 33 years since we founded the business we have never looked for someone to buy it.”

Gilbert appeared confident that when investors start to come back into emerging market funds, they will look at Aberdeen’s products.

“We are one of the biggest, clearly when people want to come back in they want to come back into big liquid funds,” he said.

Gilbert addressed the recently-announced departure of Aberdeen’s chief investment officer Anne Richards to become chief executive of M&G Investments.

“When she told me I said there is no point even trying to persuade you to stay, it is such a big step upwards,” Gilbert said.

Read the full Fund Strategy interview here: