Abrdn Sees Investor Exodus Slowing After Four Years of Outflows
(Bloomberg) -- The head of abrdn Plc said the U.K. asset management giant was stemming the investor exodus that’s plagued the company since its creation in a mega-merger more than four years ago.
The firm reported 5.6 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) of net outflows for the first half of this year, compared with about 25 billion pounds a year earlier, according to a statement Tuesday. Still, the latest figure was far higher than the 568 million pound consensus estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.
“This is the lowest level of outflows since the merger,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bird said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “In March we promised we would arrest the decline of revenue in this business and we that would restore a profitable growth business, and we have done that.”
abrdn swung to a first-half profit after tax of 102 million pounds compared with a 504 million pound loss a year earlier, partly thanks to lower impairment charges. The shares were little changed in early Tuesday trading in London.
The majority of the period’s outflows were seen in lower margin products, according to the earnings statement. Assets under management remained flat at 532 billion pounds as positive market movements were offset by the withdrawals.
The results are the first since the company’s recent name change from Standard Life Aberdeen. The firm had pitched the rebrand as a chance to refocus after a troubled integration following the 2017 merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life. The shares have fallen about 30% since the deal was announced.
Since being hired for the top job in September, Bird has rejigged his senior team and outlined plans to build a stable of passive products. Bird also wants to expand in Asia, invest more in private markets and to leverage a gap in the U.K. advice market.
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