Aberdeen’s assets £308bn; emerging markets improve

Martin Gilbert

UPDATE 2 — Aberdeen Asset Management said its revenue increased to 10.6% to £534.9 million and underlying profit before tax increased 19.8% to £195.2 million in the six months to March 31 as outflows from its funds slowed down.

Assets under management at Aberdeen — which is in the process of merging with Edinburgh-based Standard Life — were £308.1 billion at March 31, up from £292.8 billion at the same time last year, but down from £312.1 billion at September 30, 2016.

Net outflows from Aberdeen’s funds slowed from £10.5 billion in the first quarter of 2017 to £2.9 billion in the second quarter.

Aberdeen CEO Martin Gilbert said: “These figures reflect improving sentiment towards emerging markets combined with our transition to becoming a full-service asset manager offering a broad range of capabilities via multiple distribution channels globally.

“We have experienced net inflows into our emerging market strategies in recent months and encouragingly into our diversified growth strategies and the Parmenion platform during the period.

“These together with favourable market conditions and the delivery of £70 million of cost savings have resulted in a healthy rise in revenues and profits. 

“Global growth appears to be recovering but elections and geo-political issues will continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

“Our fund managers across asset classes will remain focused on investment fundamentals in helping our clients achieve their long-term financial objectives.

“Our proposed merger with Standard Life is on track and the combined businesses will form a world-class investment company strengthening further both companies’ ability to meet the evolving needs of clients and customers.” 

Aberdeen chairman Simon Troughton said: “Buoyant markets for much of the six months and the weakness of sterling versus other currencies helped to cushion the effects of net outflows of £13.4 billion during the period.

“It is encouraging to note that net outflows slowed from £10.5 billion in the first quarter of 2017 to £2.9 billion in the second quarter, and the revenue effect of these flows has become more balanced, with new business being won at higher margins than is being lost on outflows.”