The creation of the biggest asset management group in Britain will kill 800 jobs

The deal to create the UK’s biggest asset management company will see 800 jobs cut over a three year period, according to a prospectus for shareholders.

The £11 billion merger between between investment company Standard Life and fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management will see the companies “achieve cost synergies where duplication exists,” Standard Life’s document said.

Around 800 roles will go from a combined workforce of 9,000.

“Synergies will come in part from employee departures arising from natural turnover. Other appropriate steps will be taken to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies, including the active management of Standard Life’s and Aberdeen’s recruitment and vacancies,” Standard Life said.

The merger deal, agreed between the companies in March and yet to receive shareholder approval, will “create one of the largest active investment managers in the world” Sir Gerry Grimstone, Standard Life’s chairman, said in a letter to shareholders, adding the company would have “around £670 billion of combined assets under management.”

Shareholders of both companies will meet on June 19 to vote to approve or reject the deal.

The prospectus also listed Brexit as a major risk factor, saying that the loss of the UK’s financial passport to do business in the single market could force the new company to change its structure.

“The long-term effects of the UK leaving the EU will depend on any agreements (or lack thereof) between the UK and the EU and, in particular, on any arrangements for the UK to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently,” the prospectus said. “As a result, the Standard Life Group, the Aberdeen Group or, if the Merger completes, the Combined Group may need to take mitigating action, or to change parts of their business.”

The executive structure of the new company will also be as follows:

  • Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life, will become Chairman of the Board of the Combined Group, with Simon Troughton, Chairman of Aberdeen, becoming Deputy Chairman.
  • Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life, and Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen, will become co-CEOs of the Combined Group.
  • Bill Rattray, of Aberdeen, and Rod Paris, of Standard Life, will become CFO and CIO respectively.

A name has not been finally decided for the combined company although “Standard Aberdeen” is seen as the frontrunner for new group.

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