City heavyweight Martin Gilbert has announced he will leave Standard Life Aberdeen after nearly four decades with the business.
The vice chairman of the group and chairman of Aberdeen’s investment arm said he will not be standing for re-election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May next year – 14 months after he stood down as the firm’s chief executive.
He 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.”
Mr Gilbert is co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, running the firm since 1983, and was instrumental in its merger with Standard Life in 2017.
However, since then the company has struggled to win round shareholders.
The merger came as asset management firms were being squeezed and fees were being reduced with increased competition.
Mr Gilbert will leave at the end of September 2020, but not before attempting to win new business and “realising the potential from our global network and capabilities”.
Chairman Sir Douglas Flint said: “It is impossible to overstate Martin’s achievement in building Aberdeen Asset Management into a truly global and widely respected investment firm.
“His ability to attract talent to deliver that success and his unrelenting commitment to the firm’s clients leave a legacy of which he should be immensely proud and which serves as a solid foundation for our future success.
“His foresight to see the opportunities that led to the combination that created Standard Life Aberdeen and his tireless efforts to realise these opportunities post-merger are hugely valued by all his colleagues who now take up the responsibility to deliver on them.”
The businessman will continue working, having already been lined up as fintech startup Revolut’s new chairman.
The challenger banking service appointed Mr Gilbert in an attempt to improve corporate governance and prepare the business for any possible listing or future fundraising.