Abrdn makes big changes in investment leadership

Abrdn plc HQ, Edinburgh

Abrdn plc has announced big changes in the leadership of its investment business — with Rene Buehlmann becoming sole CEO and co-CEO Chris Demetriou leaving the company.

Abrdn also said Anne Breen has been appointed head of real estate investment, with Neil Slater leaving Abrdn to pursue another opportunity.

“Over the last two years we have been making important changes to reshape our investments business for the future,” said an Abrdn spokesperson.

“With the business now re-positioned, and with a clear strategy in place, Chris Demetriou has decided the time is right to step aside as co-CEO of the business.

“As we look to the next phase, we have announced that Rene Buehlmann will become sole CEO of Abrdn’s investments business.

“Rene will be supported by Peter Branner, our new chief investment officer, and an expanded role for Xavier Meyer, our chief client officer, as they focus on accelerating growth across the business.

“We wish Chris all the best for the future.”

Rene Buehlmann of Abrdn

Buehlmann said: “I am excited to be leading our investments business as we look ahead to accelerate our strategy.

“The work of the last two years has been critical in repositioning our business and I am proud how far we have come.

“Chris and I worked in true partnership guided by deep mutual respect and I wish him the very best.

“Our focus now is on truly delivering for our clients and enabling them to be better investors.”

Demetriou said: “When I joined this business as an accountant in the private equity group, it was inconceivable to me that one day I’d be leaving as co-CEO of investments.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such great people, many of whom have become friends, and I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished together.

“It’s now time for me to seek a new challenge.

“Under Rene’s leadership, the investments business is in brilliant hands, and I wish you all well for the future.

“You’ll have no greater supporter or advocate on the outside than me.”

Anne Breen of Abrdn

Anne Breen, formerly deputy head of real assets, has been appointed head of real estate as Abrdn moves towards a simplified focus on growth with real assets being split into real estate and infrastructure. She will report to Branner.

Branner said: “We need to deliver superior investment performance for our clients, simplify our structures and enhance our capabilities.

“The change today will help us to grow – from both a business context and as individuals and teams.

“It will also improve how we work together, share ideas and learn from each other – delivering better investment outcomes for our clients.

“Anne knows Abrdn well and I am delighted to announce her promotion, she is a highly experienced real estate investor and leader within our business.

“Growing our Alternatives offering remains a strategic priority, and our teams will work more closely together to drive forward our growth agenda.

“After three years as Global Head of Real Assets Neil Slater will be leaving Abrdn to pursue another opportunity. I would like to wish Neil all the best in the next phase of his career.”