Edinburgh-based investment giant Abrdn plc announced that, in line with succession planning announced on December 23, 2022, chief financial officer Stephanie Bruce “has agreed with the board” she will not seek re-election at the company’s AGM on May 10, 2023.
Abrdn said Bruce will step down as CFO and as a director of Abrdn on May 10 – but she will remain with the group until December 31, 2023, to support an orderly transition “and an announcement regarding her successor will be made in due course.”
Bruce has been CFO of Abrdn since June 2019. She is also Abrdn’s representative director on the board of Phoenix Group Holdings, in which Abrdn is a 10.7% shareholder.
Abrdn chairman Douglas Flint said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Stephanie for everything she has achieved at Abrdn over the last four years.
“This has been a period of major transformation and she has contributed significantly to that journey, leading the communication of our financial performance while ensuring that the group maintained and reinforced its strong capital position.
“She leaves in due course with our best wishes as she builds her career outside the group.”
Bruce said: “I am immensely proud that during my time at Abrdn, despite the backdrop of significant external headwinds, we have strengthened the balance sheet, invested in scale and capabilities, returned significant capital to shareholders and, with the commitment and determination of so many colleagues, focused relentlessly on our clients and our shareholders.
“Today the group is in a stronger position to build on these foundations with a more diversified profile for its next phase of growth.”
Before joining Abrdn, Bruce was a partner at PwC from 2002, where she led the financial services assurance practice and was a member of the assurance executive.
On February 28, Abrd reported IFRS loss before tax of £615 million for the year ended December 31, compared to a £1.1 billion profit in the prior year, amid what the firm’s CEO called “one of the toughest investing years in living memory.”
Abrdn’s assets under management and administration (AUMA) fell 8% to £500 billion from £542 billion as the company reported a further year of net outflows of client funds.
Adjusted operating profit fell 19% to £263 million, driven by a decline in revenue at Abrdn’s investments business.
Assets under management (AUM) in its investments business fell 19% from £464 billion to £376 billion “reflecting lower markets and the final LBG (Lloyds Banking Group) tranche withdrawals.”
Abrdn merged or closed 58 funds in 2022.