Emerging markets drag on Aberdeen Asset

Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert

Weakness in emerging markets took a toll on Aberdeen Asset Management’s results for the six months to March 31, 2016, with revenue, profit and assets under management all significantly down.

Net revenue fell to £483.6 million from £605.2 million compared to the same period last year, profit before tax slumped to £98.8 million from £185.4 million, and assets under management fell to £292.8 billion from £330.6 billion.

Aberdeen’s shares were down 9.5% in Tuesday morning trading.

“These results reflect the challenging conditions Aberdeen has faced during the past three years, in particular the weakness in emerging markets,” said Aberdeen Asset’s chief executive Martin Gilbert.

“However our balance sheet strength has allowed us to continue to invest in the business, including the completion of a number of bolt-on acquisitions which have added new capabilities and new client channels.

“We have strengthened the management team with senior appointments in distribution and operations.”

Aberdeen said in February its chief investment officer Anne Richards would leave the company to become chief executive of M&G Investments, the UK and European asset management arm of Prudential.

But Aberdeen has appointed Campbell Fleming — chief executive, EMEA of Columbia Threadneedle — as global head of distribution, Iain Plunkett has been appointed chief operating officer in addition to his role of chief technology officer, and Martin Jennings has joined as head of digital.

Aberdeen’s chairman Roger Cornick said the fund firm remains “vulnerable to further outflows over the next few quarters as clients continue to react to the difficult conditions for performance over the last few years.”

Cornick said Aberdeen expects to reduce annual costs by £70 million.

He said gross new business inflows for the period totalled £21.5 billion and outflows amounted to £38.2 billion, resulting in a net outflow for the six month period of £16.7 billion.