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Martin Gilbert ‘not retired’ as investor vehicle recruits new talent

Martin Gilbert has "certainly not retired and is looking to build another asset and wealth management business".
Martin Gilbert has "certainly not retired and is looking to build another asset and wealth management business".

Veteran fund manager Martin Gilbert has augmented his growing portfolio of financial services companies with a new hire from his old employers.

The former chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management has poached Alex Hoctor-Duncan to join the board of River & Mercantile Group (R&M), the London-listed investor of which Mr Gilbert is deputy chairman.

Mr Hoctor-Duncan is leaving his job as the global head of Aberdeen Standard Investments, the investment arm of Mr Gilbert’s former firm. Aberdeen Asset Management changed its name to Standard Life Aberdeen (SLI) after its £11billion merger with Standard Life in 2017. Recently the company announced it will change its name to Abrdn (pronounced “Aberdeen”).

The move comes as Mr Gilbert grows the reach of AssetCo, an investment vehicle he took control of in March to acquire asset managers. The group already has a 6% stake in R&M.

He has dismissed claims that he aims to build a new asset management empire to rival that of his former colleagues at Abrdn.

Gilbert could be making moves – source suggests

However, a source said: “The news shows that Martin has certainly not retired and is looking to build another asset and wealth management business – 38 years on since co-founding Aberdeen Asset Management.”

AssetCo recently announced the purchase of Saracen Fund Managers, a small asset manager based in Edinburgh, for £2.75m. That company is chaired by Jamie Matheson, formerly the chair of wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

The firm has also recruited Gary Collins to run its distribution arm. He joins from Columbia Threadneedle Investments where he was also head of distribution.

AssetCo has assembled a team which includes a number of Mr Gilbert’s former colleagues including Peter McKellar, formerly head of private markets at SLI, as the firm’s deputy chairman and chief executive.

Since retiring from Aberdeen Standard Life last year, Mr Gilbert has taken on a number of new roles.

He is currently chairman of fintech bank, Revolut, and is senior independent director at mining giant, Glencore, as well as chairman of Toscafund, the hedge fund.

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