Aberdeen shareholders sign off on Standard Life mega-merger

Aberdeen shareholders sign off on Standard Life mega-merger

A major shift in the Scottish wealth management landscape is one the cards with Standard Life PLC (LON:SL.) now linked with a merger with Lloyds Banking Group PLC owned (LON:LLOY) pensions and life insurance group Scottish Widows.

However, the newspaper says potential talks will need to wait until shareholders vote on the Standard Life’s merger with Aberdeen, which is set to take place today.

The enlarged company, to be called Standard Life Aberdeen, will be headed up by Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert with a bumper 16-member board.

The firm said that 95% of Aberdeen’s shareholders had approved the deal, describing it as “overwhelming support”.

Simon Troughton, chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management, said the result was a “landmark” in the firm’s history. Aberdeen bought asset management business Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2013.

Standard Life announced a £3.8bn takeover deal for Aberdeen Asset Management, to create an £11bn fund manager, in March.

Eyebrows have also been raised over the proposed bonus structure that will see chief investment officer Rod Paris eligible to earn 865% of his £450,000 salary. Totalling 1.2million people, these individual shareholders are spread across the UK.

Senior City sources told The Sunday Times that talks about a possible deal between Standard Life and Scottish Widows were expected to begin this week.

The deal also faces regulatory scrutiny, with the Competition and Markets Authority last month launching an investigation to ascertain if the tie-up could harm competition in the industry.

Lloyds has enjoyed a close relationship with Aberdeen in recent years.