Standard Life Aberdeen officially became abrdn plc earlier today (July 5), 10 weeks after it announced the change of moniker to some derision in the City.
Shares in the Scottish financial services giant closed up just shy of 1.4% at 277.9p on its first day of trading under the new ticker of ABDN – reflecting the heritage of Aberdeen Asset Management, the fund manager Edinburgh-based Standard Life acquired in 2017 for £3.8 billion.
Abrdn – boasting an extra consonant, compared to the ticker – has also unveiled a new charity partnership with Hello World, including a £1 million donation to support access to education for 80,000 children and adults in “disconnected” communities.
The name change has generated a mixed response, with Laith Khalaf, analyst at financial services firm AJ Bell, among those saying abrdn has made a big mistake.
According to FTSE 100-listed abrdn, it “symbolises the transition under way to bring a clarity of focus, renewed sense of purpose and drive for sustainable growth for shareholders, clients and colleagues”.
The company added: “Simplifying the business, coming together under one single brand is a key enabler to drive future growth.”
The new corporate identity will be rolled out across all of SLA’s brands following the sale of the group’s insurance arm – and subsequently the Standard Life name – to Pheonix Group.
Chief executive Stephen Bird said: “I’m very excited to have reached this milestone. Abrdn is so much more than a new name – it’s about our business coming together under a single global brand, with a determined focus on enabling our clients and customers to be better investors”.
Abrdn said its partnership with Hello World would fund communities to build 64 new Hello Hubs over two years, providing life-changing opportunities and education for about 80,000 children and adults.
Footsie buoyed by looming “freedom day”
Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 closed up 41.64 points, or 0.58%, to 7.164.91, as England edged ever closer to the so-called “freedom day” of Covid-19 restriction relaxations on July 19.
In company news, Morrisons investors had their first opportunity to react to the news that a bidding war is on the verge of breaking out for the supermarket.
Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has confirmed it is mulling a takeover bid for the supermarket, although only Fortress has made a formal offer of £6.3 billion, which has been accepted by the board. Shares in Morrisons closed up 27.7p, or 11.6%, at 267.5p.