Standard Life Aberdeen Boss to Retire

Martin Gilbert is to step down from investment group Standard Life Aberdeen in September 2020 

Annalisa Esposito 2 October, 2019 | 12:52PM
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Martin Gilbert

Fund manager Martin Gilbert, 64, is set to leave Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) on 20 September 2020. Shares in the group dropped 1.8% after the announcement to 278p. 

Gilbert, who earlier this year scaled back his role to vice-chair of the recently merged investment giant, will work four days a week from January “to facilitate his transition to the next phase of his career”, with his annual salary reduced by 20% to £480,000.

Gilbert co-founded Aberdeen Asset Management in 1983 and has since grown the group into a global player, with more than £500 billion of assets under management. Two years ago he oversaw the firm's £11 billion merger with Standard Life, which created one of the largest asset managemetn groups in Europe. 

SLA's chairman, Sir Douglas Flint, said that it'is impossible to overstate Martin’s achievement in building Aberdeen Asset Management into a truly global and widely respected investment firm.

Gilbert said: “It has been an incredible journey, almost unimaginable from the earliest days when we were just three people in one office in Aberdeen with £50 million under management to today’s total in excess of £500 billion.” 

Over the following 12 months until his retirement, Gilbert will continue to focus on "strengthening the group’s relationships with clients, winning new business for the group and realising the potential from our global network and capabilities”.

But the investment veteranis already considering future roles, including the possibility of a new role as chairman of London-based digital bank Revolut. He added: “I still have a great enthusiasm for growing and guiding businesses, and I am looking forward to fresh challenges in the stage of my career.”

Industry Reaction

Morningstar senior analyst David Holder says:"The impending departure of Martin Gilbert from Standard Life Aberdeen marks the end of an era for the group." He thinks the announcement could cause a change in the public's perception of the company "as it provides more clarity as to accountability for senior management decision making and strategic direction."

Holder adds: "Gilbert is synonymous with Aberdeen Asset Management, but his departure was anticipated and it allows for the next stage of development for the unified business which respects the best elements of the heritage Aberdeen and Standard life businesses."

Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, said: “Gilbert has been one of the most acquisitive chief executives in the past 30 years, always looking for an opportunity to grow this business with a series of both small and larger purchases that built Aberdeen into a truly diversified asset manager."

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

About Author

Annalisa Esposito  is a data journalist for