Gilbert becomes AssetCo chair as it seeks acquisitions

Martin Gilbert

London-listed investment vehicle AssetCo plc said on Friday that Scottish fund management veteran Martin Gilbert will become its chairman as it changes its business strategy “to the development of an asset and wealth management business.”

The firm said it plans to raise cash “to execute the new strategy of making strategic acquisitions.”

AssetCo said the new strategy will focus on “acquiring, managing and operating asset and wealth management activities.”

Peter McKellar will become deputy chairman and chief executive officer.

Gilbert is former co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and McKellar is former global head of private markets at SLA.

Tudor Davies will become a non-executive director of the company.

Asset Co said it will seek shareholder support “to disapply statutory pre-emption rights in respect of an amount equal to 100% of the existing share capital, to enable the company to raise cash to execute the new strategy of making strategic acquisitions and developing the business, while widening and strengthening the company’s shareholder base.”

The firm said it will implement an annual bonus and long term incentive plan designed to “reward, incentivise and retain the company’s executive directors and senior management to deliver sustainable growth for shareholders.”

Davies said: “During the last year, we successfully accumulated cash balances of approximately £55 million, from the realisation of receivables and bonds from our Abu Dhabi business and the successful conclusion of our litigation against our former auditors.

“However, there have been challenges in developing an overseas business in the Middle East, and the board decided it was appropriate to review the structure and future strategy of the company.

“This led to a tender offer to buy back 50 per cent. of the share capital at a cost of £26.9 million, followed by the proposal to utilise the AssetCo platform to build an exciting asset and wealth management business.”

On January 11, 2021, AssetCo said that a “concert party” of Martin Gilbert, Peter McKellar, various associates and funds managed by Toscafund Asset Management had acquired 29.8% of the issued share capital of the company at 475p per share.