Aberdeen’s Gilbert: Asset managers ‘least affected’ by Brexit

Martin Gilbert AberdeenAberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert says fund groups will be the least affected financial services sector from the long-term implications of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

According to Thomson Reuters Lipper, Glibert says: “[The Brexit vote] has certainly been a surprise. I think asset managers are probably the least affected in financial services because we all have operations in Luxembourg where we distribute our funds into Europe.

“So very few of us actually distribute UK funds into Europe which I think will be a significant issue but not from Europe, because we already passport or manage money in Luxembourg and Singapore.

“I don’t think we’ll be hugely affected, I hope I am right, but usually I am foreseeing consequences of all of these actions.”

Gilbert also says the asset manager’s property fund had an adequate cash buffer on its property fund despite a “run” on funds causing it to suspend trading.

Gilbert says: “We were really well positioned compared to others with the property funds having a 25 per cent cash buffer but I think nothing would have happened if we hadn’t seen Standard Life Property fund and four or five others [suspending the funds] which then caused the run of the market, really.”

The Aberdeen UK Property fund was forced to sell several properties following the Brexit vote.

This week Moody’s said the City’s financial services firms will manage the loss of passporting even though it would be negative for the UK economy as a whole.

But its findings contrasted with the comments made by Gilbert, as it argued in its report that the implications of equivalence would be “more significant” for the asset management industry than investment services and banking.

“The area of asset management may be most negatively impacted due to explicit location requirements for managers of Ucits compliant EU funds,” Moody’s report states.