Standard Life Aberdeen accelerates plan to return £1.75bn to shareholders
The first phase of the fund giant’s share buyback programme will start within days.
Fund giant Standard Life Aberdeen has brought forward plans to return £1.75 billion to shareholders, saying the first tranche of its share buyback programme would commence “in the next few days”.
The group announced the share buyback in May, saying it would follow the sale of its European insurance business to Phoenix Group.
Standard Life Aberdeen said on Tuesday that it would start the first £175 million tranche of its share buyback programme shortly, and that the sale to Phoenix would be completed in the third quarter.
The fund manager, which was formed out of the £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management last year, reported £16.6 billion in outflows for the first half of the year.
Its assets under management were £610.1 billion, compared with £626.5 billion for the same period in 2017.
We are actively taking steps to improve our investment performance in key areas and are encouraged by the impact of these initiatives Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch, chief executives
Pre-tax profit for the period was £127 million, up 35% year-on-year from £94 million.
The company said political uncertainty continued to knock investor sentiment, and that these uncertainties were pushing investors to look for new strategies.
Chief executives Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch said conditions for the asset management industry were “challenging”.
“Our investment and distribution teams are winning new mandates and we have a good and diverse pipeline of business from around the world. We are actively taking steps to improve our investment performance in key areas and are encouraged by the impact of these initiatives,” they said.
Jefferies analysts said: “Market conditions remain difficult and outflows remain a challenge.
“However, the integration plan appears to be progressing well and cost savings are materialising, with further benefits to come.”