By not appearing neutral "you run the risk of attracting criticism from whatever side of the equation", Mr Gilbert said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Monaco, the Aberdeen boss said he expected greater than forecast savings from its recent SWIP acquisition and a raised dividend this year, as well as seeing scope to buy back shares. He said the integration of SWIP was going well and the group was focused on "the hard bit", around front-office integration, which should be finished in the next two to three weeks. Mr Gilbert said outflows from emerging market funds had slowed in March and were now "broadly neutral". Aberdeen had no plans in the near term to look for any further acquisitions.