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Standard Life and Aberdeen clarify co-CEO roles

Standard Life and Aberdeen clarify co-CEO roles

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management have clarified the co-chief executive roles following the shock news of their merger earlier this month. 

In a joint stock exchange announcement on 6 March it was revealed that Standard Life CEO Keith Skeoch (pictured right) and Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert (left) would serve as joint CEOs of the combined group. 

A further announcement issued by Standard Life today shed light on the 'organisational design' and the 'allocation of responsibilities' that will be shared by Skeoch and Gilbert, as well as the roles each will specifically play.

The pair highlighted seven key pillars of the organisational design aligned to the combined group's strategy. 

* Putting investments at the heart of the combined business

* Focusing on long-term client needs

* Diversifying across geographies, asset classes and client and customer channels

* Distributing through a combination of wholly owned businesses, joint ventures and strategic alliances

* Co-ordinating and effectively operating across all distribution channels

* Reducing costs and realising further efficiencies through simplification, and

* Delivering on the integration objectives, including the targeted synergies.

The statement said that as joint CEOs Skeoch and Gilbert will share responsibility for core aspects of the role such as the executive committee, developing and promoting the combined group’s strategy and objectives, and monitoring operational performance and strategic direction.

Skeoch will have individual accountability for the day to day running of the fabric of the combined business including responsibility for investments, pensions and savings, the India and China insurance joint ventures, operations, finance, HR, risk and regulatory culture, as well as the legal and secretariat functions. 

Meanwhile Gilbert will have individual accountability for external matters including responsibility for international activities, distribution including client engagement and business development, marketing and corporate development.

Additionally a chairman’s committee will be established to ensure effective co-ordination as the combined group moves forward after completion of the merger. This will be chaired by Sir Gerry Grimstone, with Simon Troughton deputy chairman of the combined group, alongside Skeoch and Gilbert as the other members. 

'I am delighted that we have announced these clear accountabilities for the co-CEOs in the combined business,' Grimstone said. 

'Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe that the proposals play well to Keith’s and Martin’s respective leadership strengths. This blend of complementary skills and experience will serve the company well.'

Gilbert said: 'Keith and I have established a strong working relationship during the deal process and the mutual respect and trust which has been established will form the basis of our ongoing working relationship.

He added: 'Importantly we are both team players and see the benefit of delegating decision-making as well as seeking guidance from others to formulate clear strategic objectives.

'We will draw on our complementary strengths and skillsets to lead the combined company. Keith will oversee the fabric of the company whilst I will be more outward facing focused on building and strengthening client relationships and developing international business.' 

The companies will make further announcements regarding the composition of the proposed executive management teams of the combined group and senior executive responsibilities in due course. 

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