Stan Life Aberdeen assets £490bn after Lloyds saga

Keith Skeoch

Edinburgh-based asset management giant Standard Life Aberdeen said on Tuesday its assets under management and administration at April 30 stood at £490 billion, with estimated net outflows in the first four months of the year of around £24 billion.  

However, excluding around £25 billion that relates to high-profile withdrawals by the Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Life Aberdeen said it saw estimated net inflows of around £1 billion.

The fund manager said it had continued to strengthen its financial position through the sale in March of some of its HDFC Life shares in India for net cash proceeds of £237 million.  

It said its commitment to pay its final dividend in respect of 2019 was supported by its capital strength.  

Standard Life Aberdeen shares rose about 5% to around 226p to give the Edinburgh firm a current stock market value of around £5 billion.

In a video presentation for the firm’s AGM, Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch said: “Our priority in response to COVID-19 is the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, and their ability to continue to serve our clients and customers.

“In order to do this the vast majority of our colleagues are working from home, except in countries where local guidelines allow otherwise. 

“The teams involved with managing our clients’ and customers’ assets, the servicing of those assets around the world, and the day to day operation of our businesses, have access to the tools they need to perform their roles remotely. 

“There has been only a modest impact on the service we provide to our customers and clients, while we continue to protect the health of our colleagues and their families and support the broader communities in which we operate.  

“We are aware of the difficulties the pandemic is having on the more vulnerable.  

“We have allocated funds from our charity budget to the communities most in need, to help relieve hardship where we can in the operational locations we have businesses in. 

“While financial markets remain volatile, as they react to the economic consequences of the pandemic, the response from our clients and customers has been considered.  

“Estimated AUMA (Assets under management and administration) at 30 April 2020 was £490bn, with estimated net outflows in the first four months of the year of some £24bn.  

“However, excluding around £25bn that relates to withdrawals by the Lloyds Banking Group, we saw estimated net inflows of some £1bn – an encouraging signal.

“During these turbulent times, we continue to focus on what we can control and are continuing the process of reshaping our cost base to ensure that it is future fit.  

“We are making progress towards our synergy targets, but the external environment may impact the phasing of some of our activities over this year.

“We entered this period with a strong balance sheet and during these unprecedented times, we have continued to strengthen our position through the sale in March of some of our HDFC Life shares for net cash proceeds of £237m.  

“Our commitment to pay the final dividend in respect of 2019 is supported by our capital strength.  

“The strength of our balance sheet and our financial resilience will serve us well as we navigate our way through this period of turbulence, and are important in allowing us to continue to focus on the wellbeing of our colleagues and their ability to continue to serve our clients and customers. 

“We also know that the market turmoil has had a negative impact on the value of many businesses and is constraining their ability to operate normally.  

“As an active and long-term investor we are fully committed to providing support, where appropriate, to the companies we invest in.  

“This tough and uncertain environment is likely to last for a while and it’s a time when we need to reinforce our purpose …

“Together, we invest for a better future.”

About the Author

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.