Skeoch sees deep recession then strong recovery

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch said on Friday he expects a “deep” recession amid the coronavirus crisis and then a “strong” recovery.

Edinburgh-based Standard Life Aberdeen is Scotland’s largest investment firm with assets under management and administration of £544.6 billion at December 31, 2019.

In a TV interview, Skeoch said this is not a time to sell assets if that can be avoided but a time for “cool and calm heads.”

Skeoch told CNBC: “We are going to see a recession and I think by historical standards it’s going to be … deep.

“However, given that it’s not built from a huge number of imbalances .. and you are beginning to see the impact of … policy stimulus coming through … my guess is that the recovery when it comes … will actually be quite strong …

“Everything I know about investing says that if you don’t have to, this is not the time to sell …

“It is a time for cool and calm heads … it is a time for lengthening your investment horizon.”

Asked if equities (shares) were the right place for medium term investors at the moment and whether shares will “work” for investors in that environment, Skeoch replied: “I think selective equities will …

“This is different from the financial crash, it is different from ’87 … this is a recession created by a down draft in economic activity as governments attempt to protect their population …

“The bulk of this is felt by the people and in the corporate sector …

“The golden rule in investment is ‘buy low’ …. not everything that went down will go up and I think you have to be highly selective …

“For the medium term … I think equity markets in five years time will be significantly above where they are today.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.