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Aberdeen Asset chief Gilbert sells £4.8 million stake

CHIEF executive Martin Gilbert has netted £4.8 mil-lion from selling shares in Aberdeen Asset Management to fund a house purchase, but dismissed the notion he is preparing for retirement by insisting he would emulate football manager Sir Alex Ferguson and work until he is 90.

The divestment is just the latest by Mr Gilbert, who co-founded Aberdeen in 1983.

Previous sales have been used to acquire a salmon beat on the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, as tax planning and to rebalance his portfolio.

Mr Gilbert said: "Retiring is not in my DNA. I would like to work until I am 90.

"Just like Sir Alex Ferguson who is the longest serving manager in the Premier League, I'm one of the longest FTSE-100 chief executives."

At 58 years of age, Mr Gilbert is 13 years younger than Sir Alex.

Mr Gilbert sold 1,078,253 shares at 444p each on May 1, according to a stock market filing made by the company yesterday. This has left him with a holding of just 122,233 shares, worth £540,000.

However, he has awards totalling 2,248,492 shares from deferred bonus arrangements dating back six years which have reached their vesting dates. These have a market value of £9.9m.

Mr Gilbert could also receive 2,365,240 shares, worth another £10.4m, from deferred awards for 2010, 2011 and 2012 which will vest before December 2016.

Mr Gilbert's last sale of Aberdeen shares garnered him £4m in February. Since the summer of 2010 Mr Gilbert has sold a total of £18.3m of shares.

Mr Gilbert has benefited from a sharp rise in Aberdeen's share price as investors have flocked to its emerging markets and Asian equity portfolios.

Aberdeen's shares reached an all-time high of 458.7p this week after it pleased the City by increasing underlying first half profit by 37% to £222.8m.

Although its share price has since softened, Aberdeen closed yesterday at 448.1p, up 3.2p or 0.7% on the day.

Aberdeen's stock market worth stands at £5.4 billion.

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