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Gilbert’s AssetCo takes first step to reinventing Aberdeen Asset with Saracen acquisition

AssetCo PLC (LON:ASTO) the AIM-listed vehicle of former Aberdeen Asset Management chief Martin Gilbert has acquired Edinburgh-based Saracen for £2.75mln.

Saracen has five staff currently that run three funds with assets under management of around £120mln.

AssetCo said there is scope to develop Saracen’s existing funds and market and distribute them more widely, but added that importantly it is an FCA-regulated entity with associated authorisations which it would also take on if the regulator gives change of control approval.

Gilbert, Peter McKellar, and funds managed by Toscafund bought into AssetCo in January taking a 29.8% stake.

Gilbert, the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, and McKellar, Aberdeen’s former global head of private markets, will join the Saracen board once the deal completes.

The fund industry is facing a shake-up he said when he bought into AssetCo and that is likely to throw up plenty of opportunities.

In a statement today, McKellar added: “The proposed acquisition is part of AssetCo’s overall strategy of acquiring and investing in asset and wealth management businesses. 

“The industry is contending with multiple structural shifts, including demographics, fee compression and a greater focus on ESG.

“These are presenting challenges and opportunities for incumbent firms and we believe we can capitalise on this to help unlock value and to deliver for clients and investors.”

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