Standard Life Aberdeen has this morning announced the “dissolution” of its co-chief executive model, with Keith Skeoch taking sole charge of the investment giant and Martin Gilbert becoming vice chairman.

The structure had been in place since the bumper merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017.

However speculation had hung over the leadership structure ever since the deal was first announced.

Chairman Sir Douglas Flint said the changes have the unanimous backing of the board.

The annoucement came as Standard Life Aberdeen reported a sharp rise in net outflows from its funds in 2018 amid what it described as a tought year for the sector.

The Edinburgh-based investment giant reported net inflows of £40.9 billion, up from £32.9bn in 2017, while flagging that the uncertain macroeconomic and political backdrop “continue to affect investor sentiment”.