Thought leadership

The Competition and Markets Authority has opened an investigation into the planned £11bn merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

The regulator said it wanted to determine if the deal would result in a “substantial lessening of competition”.

The two companies agreed the terms of the merger, which will create the UK’s biggest asset manager, in March.

If it goes ahead, Aberdeen shareholders will own 33.3% and Standard Life shareholders 66.7% of the merged firm.

The two companies have a combined worldwide workforce of about 9,000 people.

It is expected that about 800 jobs will go in a three-year integration period.

“This is one of a number of regulatory and antitrust approvals being sought as part of the merger process. Approval for the merger has already been granted by competition authorities in the US and Germany,” Standard Life said in a statement.

Leadership plans

The plan is for the company to be renamed Standard Life Aberdeen plc.

Both companies have agreed on a 16-strong board made up of an equal number of Standard Life and Aberdeen directors.

Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone is to be the chairman of the new firm, while Aberdeen’s chairman, Simon Troughton, will become deputy chairman.

Keith Skeoch, the Standard Life chief executive, and Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert will become co-chief executives of the new firm.

A general meeting has been scheduled for June at which shareholders will be asked to approve the merger. The two firms want to conclude the deal by mid-August.

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