Scottish Widows and Lloyds Banking Group’s Wealth businesses have decided to review their asset management arrangements and have therefore given notice to Standard Life Aberdeen plc (“Standard Life Aberdeen”) to terminate their partnership agreements with Aberdeen Asset Management plc (“Aberdeen”).
Scottish Widows and Wealth entered into the partnership with Aberdeen following the sale of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2014. This included long-term contracts for the management by Aberdeen of over £100bn of assets on behalf of Scottish Widows and Wealth.
These contracts enabled Scottish Widows and Wealth to terminate the contracts in the event that Aberdeen was subject to a change of control with a material competitor. Aberdeen recently completed a merger with Standard Life plc, which is a material competitor of Scottish Widows and also of Wealth. At the time, Scottish Widows and Wealth agreed to delay a decision regarding the exercise of their termination rights for a period of six months following completion of the merger, during which period the parties agreed to discuss in good faith ways to build a successful relationship and address the competition issue.
As no agreement has been reached, Scottish Widows and Wealth have decided to terminate their partnership agreements with Standard Life Aberdeen and to review their long-term asset management arrangements. Aberdeen has delivered good service and performance and Scottish Widows and Wealth would welcome their participation in the review if Standard Life Aberdeen is able to resolve the competition issue.
Antonio Lorenzo, Chief Executive of Scottish Widows and Group Director of Insurance & Wealth, said: “Given the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen has resulted in our assets being managed by a material competitor, it is now appropriate to review our long-term asset management arrangements to ensure they remain up-to-date and that customers continue to receive good service and investment performance. Therefore, we will begin an in-depth assessment of the market to identify a long-term strategic partner, or partners, to manage the current £109bn of assets.”
There are no immediate changes for customers. Following completion of the review, Scottish Widows and Wealth anticipate implementing the new arrangements by the end of H1 2019. Scottish Widows and Wealth will work with Standard Life Aberdeen to ensure no disruption to performance or service in the interim.
For more information, please contact:
John Penman, Insurance Communications Director: 07590 484304 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editor:
Scottish Widows was founded in 1815 as Scotland’s first mutual life office and is one of the most recognised brands in the life, pensions and investment industry in the UK.
In November 2017 Scottish Widows won ‘Company of the Year’ at the Financial Adviser Service Awards, along with ‘5 Star’ service awards in each of the individual categories of life & Pensions, Investments and Mortgages.
Scottish Widows also won a number of other awards throughout 2017, including ‘Pensions Firm of the Year’ at the FD Service Excellence Awards, ‘Pensions Provider of the Year’ at the Pensions Age Awards, ‘De-Risking Provider of the Year’ at the Pension and Investment Provider Awards and ‘Risk Reduction Provider of the Year’ at the UK Pensions Awards
Lloyds Banking Group Wealth businesses comprise of Lloyds Private Banking and Bank of Scotland Private Banking