|Bid||0.0000 x 0|
|Ask||0.0000 x 0|
|Day's Range||3.1907 - 3.1907|
|52 Week Range||2.0100 - 4.3500|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.18|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.23|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
May.12 -- Keith Skeoch, chief executive officer at Standard Life Aberdeen, discusses the company’s inflows and outflows, his business outlook, the plan to return to work and the new active business. He speaks exclusively on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There’s always been a whiff of hypocrisy surrounding the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, where the global elite congregates in a ritzy ski village to debate topics such as hunger and global warming, and basically tell the world how to manage itself better. In a world blighted by a pandemic, the event risks looking completely inappropriate.The organization celebrated its 50th anniversary in January, with an attendance list featuring 2,000 guests representing about 100 countries. Among them were at least 119 billionaires, according to calculations by my Bloomberg News colleague Tom Metcalf. Moreover, while the gender imbalance has improved in recent years, more than three-quarters of the attendees were male which is, frankly, still pathetic. Davos Man looks increasingly anachronistic.Those optics have raised misgivings for one of the Alpine gathering’s regular attendees. “When people are struggling and unemployment is soaring, the very idea of a global elite meeting in a Swiss ski resort is divisive at a time when we need unity of purpose,” Standard Life Aberdeen Plc Chief Executive Officer Keith Skeoch told the Daily Mail newspaper last week. So he decided to pull his company out of Davos. “It is very apparent that we are heading into a significant global recession that will create real hardship in our communities,” Skeoch said in a memo to staff last week. The 3 million pounds ($3.7 million) that would have been spent on the conference, including hosting a whisky bar where a traditional Scottish bagpiper would serenade guests, will instead be donated to “community projects” in the regions where Standard Life Aberdeen operates. The nature of such shindigs means Davos is often caught napping, missing the breaking news that should dominate its agenda. It reflects a basic flaw in human nature: We’re programmed to look for the next banana, and pretty terrible at long-term planning.So when asked about the biggest risks facing the world, respondents to the WEF’s 2020 survey rated extreme weather events, the failure of climate-change mitigation, major natural disasters, loss of biodiversity and human-triggered environmental damage highest. It was the first time climate concerns had dominated the list in the survey’s 14 years, reflecting the prevailing news agenda in the months before the conference.Chronic diseases haven’t made the top 10 of most likely outcomes since 2010, after being rated the second most-probable risk in 2007. Pandemics haven’t featured since ranking as the fourth and fifth highest-impact dangers in 2007 and 2008, respectively.While the world was aware that a virus was spreading outside of China in January, the danger it posed seemed minimal, with fewer than 30 deaths reported by the time delegates gathered. The looming epidemic did make a brief Davos appearance. In a Bloomberg Television interview, Thomas Buberl, the CEO of French insurer Axa SA, said “new viruses will pop up” because of mankind’s encroachment into more regions of the world. But Pascal Soriot at drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc said that while the virus “must be taken seriously,” his personal opinion was that global warming was a much bigger threat.Adapting Davos to respect the strictures of social distancing may prove impossible when the whole point is to rub shoulders with influential people from the globe’s four corners. If the show does go on, you could argue that companies would have a fiduciary duty to keep their senior managers away: I suspect there’s not a single insurance company that would pay out on a Key Person Protection policy if a CEO caught the new coronavirus, or even Covid-20, at a Davos breakfast or sipping cocktails at the Piano Bar.The potential hazards of attending the WEF’s conclave have occurred to at least one member of the financial aristocracy. “I had this nightmare that somehow in Davos, all of us who went there got it, and then we all left and spread it,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon said in February. “The only good news from that is that it might have just killed the elite.”There’s also the growing awareness of the climate crisis as a real and present danger to act on. The pandemic has already had a beneficial, if potentially short-lived, effect on the environment, with lockdowns around the world curbing pollution by closing factories and slashing travel. Jellyfish have been spotted floating in the canals of Venice (although, sadly, not dolphins), and whales are enjoying swimming in quieter oceans without the low-frequency noise generated by ships.With the average Davos attendee generating about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, the bulk of which is emitted by the plane flights there and back, a trip to the conference looks less and less justifiable. If the organizers want to get ahead of the curve by announcing something, they should declare that the 2021 gathering will be held via Zoom. For once, Davos would truly reflect the zeitgeist.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
British stocks joined a global rout on Thursday, leading to the worst single-day percentage drop since 1987 on concerns the global economy will seize up.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The 2017 merger that forged Standard Life Aberdeen Plc was designed to create a company able to compete in the $1 trillion club of the world’s largest asset managers. On its current trajectory, however, the firm, now led by Keith Skeoch after co-Chief Executive Officer Martin Gilbert stepped down last year, won’t even be able to hang on to its status as the U.K.’s biggest stand-alone fund.Last year, Standard Life Aberdeen reached a settlement with Lloyds Banking Group Plc, after the bank attempted to cancel a contract with the fund manager to oversee 104 billion pounds ($136 billion) of assets. An arbitration agreement left 35 billion pounds in place until at least April 2022.But Standard Life Aberdeen’s loss has been Schroders Plc’s gain. Lloyds transferred almost 45 billion pounds to Schroders by the end of last year, and a further 30 billion pounds is poised to move across in the first half of this year. As things stand, Schroders, led by Peter Harrison since 2016, is set to become top dog in the U.K. fund industry.On Tuesday, Standard Life Aberdeen reported that its total assets were 544.6 billion pounds at the end of last year. Net outflows in 2019 were 17.4 billion pounds, excluding that Lloyds money, better than the 40.9 billion pounds that it bled in 2018 but still heading in the wrong direction.More than bragging rights are at stake when counting assets to measure the market leaders in pure fund management. (Legal & General Plc’s investment arm is a bigger player in the U.K. with 1.2 trillion pounds of assets, but it’s tied to an insurance company.) The bigger the pile of other people’s money a firm manages, the more revenue it can generate. Despite an ongoing post-merger cost-cutting program, Standard Life Aberdeen’s cost-to-income ratio has been hurt by a decline in revenue, climbing to 71% in 2019 from 68% at the end of 2018.To be sure, those 2020 asset numbers aren’t set in stone for either Standard Life Aberdeen or for Schroders. The former beat the analysts’ consensus for 2019 by about 3%, so the forecasts for this year could move higher. Standard Life Aberdeen may yet be able to hang on to its U.K. crown. But with equity markets currently in meltdown around the world, the first quarter is likely to prove tough for active managers with customers fleeing to the sidelines. Standard Life Aberdeen is well outside of the global top 10 in asset management; on current trends, it’s unlikely to make it into the top tier any time soon.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
One of BHP's biggest shareholders Aberdeen Standard Investments on Wednesday added to pressure for the world's leading miner to cut ties with lobby groups it says are at odds with the company's pledges on climate leadership. Earlier, the Church of England Pensions Board urged shareholder advisers to review their opposition to a resolution calling on BHP to withdraw from groups that lobby for policies inconsistent with global climate change limitation goals. Aberdeen Standard Investments, which holds around 3.2% of BHP's stock, said it was taking the rare step of speaking out ahead of a vote at BHP's annual shareholder meeting in London on Oct. 17 because of the urgency of tackling climate change, and after its research found the lobby groups were the biggest single obstacle to progress.
Veteran investor Martin Gilbert will leave Standard Life Aberdeen <SLA.L> next year, ending a career spanning more than three decades at the helm of one of Britain's most successful asset managers. Gilbert oversaw the meteoric rise of Aberdeen Asset Management, the small company he co-founded in 1983 with just 50 million pounds in assets, to what became the country's biggest listed fund firm at the time of its 11 billion pound merger with Standard Life in 2017. Touted as a strong tie-up of two of Scotland's biggest financial services companies, Gilbert and Standard Life peer Keith Skeoch initially shared the role of chief executive, despite some discontent from shareholders.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Faced with the choice of accepting rent cuts or hunting for new retailers to fill hundreds of stores, U.K. mall owners are swallowing their medicine.Some of Britain’s biggest commercial landlords including Hammerson Plc and British Land Co., voted in favor of a rescue plan for billionaire Philip Green’s Arcadia Group that meant having to accept dozens of store closures and rent cuts of at least 25% at almost 200 sites.But their approval for the so-called Company Voluntary Arrangement was grudging and highlights how much pressure they are under from the pain inflicted on retailers by consumers choosing to shop online rather than in department stores.Land Securities Group Plc, Standard Life Aberdeen Plc and the Crown Estate had intended to vote against Arcadia’s proposals and switched at the 11th hour, according to people familiar with their plans who asked not to be named discussing information that isn’t public. One landlord, Intu Properties Plc, voted against, calling the deal unfair to tenants that pay full rent.“It really is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Daniel Swimer, property litigation partner at law firm Joelson. “Landlords could have rent reductions forced upon them or, if the CVA doesn’t get passed, they’re left with a large retailer failing in the current retail climate.”Deal ApprovedThe fact the deal was approved is likely to put further pressure on mall rents and values, and raises the possibility that commercial property owners could be tipped into a crisis similar to that faced by the retailers who make up some of their biggest tenants.The cost of insuring Land Securities’ debt against default saw the biggest daily rise since December on the day after the Arcadia vote, according to ICE Data Services. Moody’s Investors Service warned of possible damage to the creditworthiness of retail property owners that already face “weak operating performance, with declining footfall and retail sales, and downward pressure on rents.”The landlords came under pressure from Arcadia to back the deal or put about 18,000 jobs at risk if the company was forced into administration, people with knowledge of the negotiations said. Several were told they would be shirking their social responsibilities and be blamed for job losses, an accusation they resented, some of the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks were private.Arcadia representatives declined to comment.Ultimately the decision to back the CVA came down to the best commercial interests of the landlords, given that they could be left with empty sites if Arcadia fell into administration, two of the people said.Spokesmen for Land Securities, the Crown Estate and Standard Life Aberdeen confirmed they had backed the plans but declined to comment on the detail of the negotiations. Representatives of Hammerson and British Land declined to comment.Smaller CutsWhile many companies have preceded Arcadia’s CVA, few have been so large and many secured less generous rent cuts. The risk is that following Arcadia, other retailers now demand the same, even those that have previously undertaken rent cuts.“There’s nothing to stop companies coming back for a second bite,” Andrew Hughes, head of European general retail at UBS said at a media briefing last month.Intu has previously highlighted the likely impact of Arcadia’s CVA, saying last month that store closures are worse than expected and it sees net rents falling 4% to 6% this year. The company, which owns eight of the top 20 malls in the U.K., is under pressure itself to sell assets to cut debt and CVAs are hampering those efforts.Falling ValueIntu said in February that a further 10% fall in the value of its properties would cost 1 million pounds in extra expenditures in order to avoid a breach of loan covenants. U.K. Retail property values fell 10.25 percent in the year through May, according to data compiled by broker CBRE Group Inc.Some landlords are pushing back on department store chain Debenhams’ outlet closures which won creditor approval in May. Sports Direct International Plc has grouped together with landlords to challenge the CVA and property investor M&G Investments has launched another challenge, a spokeswoman for the asset manager confirmed.But it will be hard for landlords to stop the trend. Consumers’ shift to online shopping shows little signs of abating and insolvencies have jumped by more than a fifth since 2016, with more than 1,200 retailers collapsing last year.“What is 100% certain is that retailers can’t carry on paying the rents they have historically,” said Richard Hyman, an independent retail consultant. “There’s less money in the pot to fund it and the pain has to be shared by the landlord as well as by the retailer.”\--With assistance from Antonio Vanuzzo.To contact the reporters on this story: Katie Linsell in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jack Sidders in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Vivianne Rodrigues at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Vellacott, Shelley RobinsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.