Scots fund managers control 25% of UK assets – IA

Baillie Gifford

One quarter (25%) of assets managed by UK-headquartered investment management firms are controlled by companies with headquarters in Scotland, according to the annual report of the UK’s Investment Association (IA), the trade body that represents most UK asset managers.

In the report, the IA said: “In a year of high volatility within global markets, total assets under management in the UK by the IA’s members remained unchanged at £7.7 trillion as of the end of 2018 …”

The report said assets actually managed in Scotland represented 7% of total assets managed by IA members at the end of 2018, accounting for £530 billion of total IA assets — a fall of £85 billion on 2017 — with the Scottish-headquartered firms managing the rest of their assets from their London offices.

The update came as it was announced that Keith Skeoch, CEO of Edinburgh-based investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen, will join the Investment Association as deputy chair for a two-year term.

“One quarter (25%) of the assets managed by UK- headquartered investment managers are represented by managers with headquarters in Scotland,” said the report.

“Although the City of London remains the leading centre of investment management activity in the UK, Scotland, and particularly Edinburgh, plays a key role nationally.

“Looking at this from a different perspective, assets managed in Scotland represented 7% of total assets managed by IA members at the end of 2018, accounting for £530 billion of total assets, a fall of £85 billion on 2017.

“The fact that lower levels of assets are managed in Scotland than would be suggested by the location of firm headquarters is a consequence of the fact that many IA members headquartered in Scotland undertake investment management activity in other regions, primarily London,” said the IA.

On the Skeoch appointment, Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association, said: “I am delighted to announce Keith Skeoch’s appointment to the position of deputy chair of the IA board.

“His extensive experience in the investment management industry, from stewardship to key global growth markets, will be invaluable in helping to steer the IA and our industry through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the coming months and years.”

Skeoch said: “The IA plays an important part in supporting its members to deliver for their customers and clients both here and internationally.

“I am honoured to be appointed deputy chair of the IA board and I am committed in helping the industry to continue to fulfil its stewardship responsibilities and meet the needs of all investors.”