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Standard Life Aberdeen edges higher on first day of trading after £11bn merger completes

The £11bn merger was originally agreed back in March but has had to clear various regulatory hurdles

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The group’s chairman Gerry Grimsstone has called today as a “major milestone”

Standard Life PLC (LON:SL.) and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (LON:ADM) began their new life together as Standard Life Aberdeen this morning after their merger finally completed.

The £11bn merger was originally agreed back in March but has had to clear various regulatory hurdles in the intervening months.

Standard Life Aberdeen is now the UK’s largest fund manager and the second largest in Europe, with an estimated £660bn under management.

READ: Standard Life and Aberdeen must prepare for battle against passive investing boom, analysts warn

Unusually, the investment giant has two chief executives; Standard Life’s former boss Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen’s ex-CEO Martin Gilbert are both holding the reins together.

They’re backed up by a 16-strong board made up of an equal number of Standard Life and Aberdeen directors.

"Today marks the culmination of many months of hard work and preparation by our business and the beginning of a new chapter in our history as Standard Life Aberdeen PLC. Our leadership team is in place and we have full business readiness from day one,” said co-CEO Skeoch.

“The merger deepens and broadens our investment capabilities and gives us a stronger and more diverse range of investment management skills as well as significant scale across asset classes and geographies.”

READ: Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset will be a good income earner after merger, suggests HSBC

Standard Life Aberdeen will be headquartered in Scotland with offices around the world, and it hopes the merger will generate cost savings of £200mln a year.

As part of those savings, the company expects to trim around 10% of the combined workforce over the coming three years. 

‘Merger creates a giant in the sector’

“Standard Life Aberdeen will benefit from increased scale across asset classes, as well as broadened investment capabilities across a larger global footprint,” said LGB Corporate Finance managing director Angus Grierson.

“The growing trend of consolidation among the top-tier asset managers continues with the announcement last week of the proposed merger of M&G and Prudential and we expect the mid-tier to follow suit as they seek strategic solutions in the face of technological disruption, slow organic growth and growing regulatory pressures.”

Standard Life Aberdeen shares were up 1.5% to 417p in late morning trade.

--Updates for comment and share price--

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