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Standard Life, Aberdeen outline co-CEO structure for merger firm

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management have outlined the responsibilities their co-CEOs will take on following their planned merger.

Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life, and Aberdeen CEO Martin Gilbert will become co-CEOs, sharing responsibility for core aspects of the role including the executive committee, the development and promotion of strategy and objectives, and the monitoring of operational performance and strategic direction.

Mr. Skeoch, who is also CEO of the money management arm Standard Life Investments, will have individual accountability for the day-to-day running of the combined business, including investments, pensions and savings; India and China insurance joint ventures; operations; finance; and risk and regulatory culture, according to a notice published on the investor relations website of each firm.

Mr. Gilbert will have individual accountability for external matters, including international activities; distribution, including client engagement and business development; marketing; and corporate development.

They will have joint accountability for communications and the post-merger integration program.

The combined group will establish a chairman's committee, to “ensure effective coordination as the combined group moves forward after completion of the merger,” according to the notice. Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life, will chair the committee, and Aberdeen Chairman Simon Troughton will be deputy chairman. The co-CEOs will also be part of the committee.

“Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe that the proposals play well to (Messrs. Skeoch and Gilbert's) respective leadership strengths,” said Mr. Grimstone in the notice. “This blend of complementary skills and experience will serve the company well.”

Further announcements regarding the makeup of the proposed executive management teams of the combined group, along with senior executive responsibilities, will be announced in due course, said the notice. All relevant appointments are subject to regulatory approval. The firms announced the recommended all-share merger, which will create a manager with £660 billion ($818 billion) in assets under administration, on March 6.