Split-caps still leave a shadow on Aberdeen

But fund strategists say Aberdeen’s image has yet to recover fully from the splits issue, in which 20 trusts collapsed across the industry and thousands of investors lost some £600m. Despite the encouraging business figures, Aberdeen and other fund managers are reportedly still negotiating with the Financial Services Authority over a compensation sum to investors.

In the 11 months to August 31, net new business at Aberdeen rose by 7.8% to £1.6bn, while assets grew 2.4% to £21.1bn. The net inflows of £832.9m into Aberdeen’s open-ended funds were dominated by sales of its Asia-Pacific and emerging markets funds, managed by Hugh Young and his team.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says Aberdeen needs the split-cap issue to be resolved before it can complete its recovery: “Around 18 months ago, I was not convinced Aberdeen would recover. But time is a great healer and Hugh Young’s team has delivered some excellent performance. The Asian team has been helped by not having any involvement with split-caps.

“Aberdeen has been trying to improve the performance of the UK desk. But the problem is that funds need to be in the top 20 performers to attract attention, rather than just the top quartile. Aberdeen really needs the splits issue to be resolved one way or the other.”