We're still bullish on emerging markets: Aberdeen CEO
Martin Gilbert, the CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, has told CNBC he remains bullish on emerging markets in the long term, despite the company seeing large outflows due to a poor performance from the region in 2013.
"I think emerging markets are still growing rapidly, the companies there are still doing well. We had good results from Unilever this week with their emerging markets doing well… I'm bullish on emerging markets long term," he said.
Aberdeen Asset Management would not be diversifying away from emerging markets, according to Gilbert, who continued: "It's still the biggest bit of our business; we're one of the biggest in the world and that's where the growth is."
He added that he was not convinced Asian markets would one day be bigger than the U.S., "because America has still got this vast wealth that's built up. But no, it's (still) a great area to be."
Aberdeen Asset Management recently said that clients withdrew £4.4 billion ($6.6 billion) in funds over the three months to the end of December 2013. The net outflow was largely a result of investors moving out of Asian and emerging markets.
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But Gilbert insisted that sentiment regarding emerging markets had been far too negative in recent times.
"I think normally things overshoot one way or another - so sentiment's either too good or too bad," he said. "I think a lot of the smart money will look at what has underperformed over the last few years and start coming in."
Gilbert did, however, admit that the last quarter had been a tough one for Aberdeen Asset Management. The company was pushed into publishing additional information regarding its pay policies in order to calm shareholder concerns before an annual general meeting last week.
The company's purchase of the investment management arm of Scottish Widows from Lloyds Banking Group last year was a "transformative" moment, according to Gilbert.
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"That takes us into the sort of big league of AUM (assets under management)… it does give you credibility in the U.S. market - the U.S. is the most important market in the world," he said.
Regarding shareholders having more say over pay, Gilbert welcomed the change and said remuneration had become too complicated. He added: "I can ensure you the worst people to vote on fund managers pay are other fund managers pay: they take particular glee in it."