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Merging fund giants Standard Life, Aberdeen Asset clarify responsibilities co-chief executives will have after criticism

Standard Life's Kevin Skeoch will have responsibility for a number of divisions including investments and pensions, while Aberdeen's March Gilbert's responsibilities will include marketing and distribution

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Analysts had expressed concerns that the co-chief executive structure proposed by the firms would be unwieldy

The chief executive of Standard Life PLC (LON:SL. Keith Skeoch will manage the day-to-day running of the firm's business following its proposed merger with Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (LON:ADN), while Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert will handle external matters.

The two fund management firms, which announced the terms of an £11bn merger two weeks ago, revealed then that their chief executives would become joint heads of the merged firm, but today they clarified their roles.

Analysts had expressed concerns that the co-chief executive structure proposed by the firms would be unwieldy.

The two firms said in a statement today that Skeoch will have responsibility for a number of divisions including investments and pensions, while Gilbert's responsibilities will include marketing and distribution.

The pair will have joint accountability for Communications and the post-merger Integration Programme.

Effective co-ordination …

The statement added that a chairman's committee will be set up to ensure co-ordination is effective, headed by current Standard Life chairman Gerry Grimstone.

He said: “Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe that the proposals play well to Keith's and Martin's respective leadership strengths.

“This blend of complementary skills and experience will serve the company well".

Standard Life revealed on March 6 that it will pay Aberdeen for £3.8bn to create the UK's largest fund manager with assets under management of more than £660bn.

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