Standard Life Aberdeen backs shorter trading hours

Standard Life Aberdeen's HQ in Edinburgh

Edinburgh-based asset management giant Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has joined the growing number of investment firms supporting a campaign for shorter trading hours at the London Stock Exchange.

In response to a consultation by the London Stock Exchange, some fund management firms are arguing that working parents could complete the morning school run if trading in London was conducted between 9am and 4pm.

Trading on the London Stock Exchange current takes place between 8am and 4.30pm, which means traders and fund managers often start work at 6am.

Louise Drummond, deputy global head of investment execution at SLA’s Aberdeen Standard Investments, said shorter trading hours could improve work-life balance for asset management staff.

“This could help change the perception of the finance industry which could in turn help attract to people that wouldn’t normally consider a career in asset management,” said Drummond. 

The London Stock Exchange is canvassing opinions as it considers making changes to trading hours for the first time in about 20 years.

Further, The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and the UK’s Investment Association have asked exchanges to consider cutting 90 minutes from their trading day.

Galina Dimitrova, director for investment and capital markets at the Investment Association, said: “We need to call time on the long hours culture which is detrimental to diversity and mental health.”

Norway’s Wealth Fund responded to the LSE consultation by saying that it supports shorter trading hours and would prefer the option of 9am to 4pm London time because that would move the London trading day closer to the opening of US markets.