Standard Life Aberdeen's profit falls 17% as rebranding underway

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We think private markets will grow at double digit rates: Standard Life Aberdeen CEO
We think private markets will grow at double digit rates: Standard Life Aberdeen

British asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen said on Tuesday its adjusted full-year profits fell 16.6% to 487 million pounds ($673.52 million) as it reconfigures its global operations.

This was above expectations of 408 million pounds.

The first full-year results under chief executive Stephen Bird set out a new strategic direction for the company after it agreed to sell its Standard Life brand to insurer Phoenix Group in February.

Phoenix bought Standard Life Aberdeen's European and UK insurance businesses in 2018.

Despite improved investment flows in the second half of 2020 as vaccines started to be rolled out to combat Covid-19, fee-based revenue fell 13% to 1.425 billion pounds amid outflows of 3.1 billion pounds, largely from clients switching to lower-fee assets and a scheduled withdrawal of assets by Lloyds Banking Group. Outflows in 2019 were 17.4 billion pounds.

The firm's assets under management and administration fell by 10 billion to 534.6 billion pounds, above a forecast of 528.60 billion but low compared to competitors. Rival Schroders posted a 15% increase in assets to 574.4 billion pounds.

It said it would pay a dividend of 7.3 pence per share.

Bird said the company was aiming to get its cost-income ratio down to 70% by the end of 2023, from its 2020 level of 85%.

SLA said growth in Asia, its UK adviser and consumer markets, and its solutions and responsible investing business are its priorities.