MARTIN Gilbert, one of the biggest names in the Scottish financial services sector, is to step down from Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA).

Mr Gilbert, who co-founded Aberdeen Asset Management in the early 1980s and led it through its £11 billion merger with Standard Life in 2017, will retire from the company on September 30 next year.

The announcement comes after Mr Gilbert stepped down as joint chief executive of SLA in March. He had run SLA jointly with Keith Skeoch since the merger.

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Sir Douglas Flint, chairman of SLA, said: “It is impossible to overstate Martin’s achievement in building Aberdeen Asset Management into a truly global and widely respected investment firm. His ability to attract talent to deliver that success and his unrelenting commitment to the firm’s clients leave a legacy of which he should be immensely proud, and which serves as a solid foundation for our future success. 

“His foresight to see the opportunities that led to the combination that created Standard Life Aberdeen and his tireless efforts to realise these opportunities post-merger are hugely valued by all his colleagues who now take up the responsibility to deliver on them.”

Mr Gilbert said: “It has been an incredible journey, almost unimaginable from the earliest days when we were just three people in one office in Aberdeen with £50 million under management to today’s total in excess of £500 billion. 

“For more than 30 years, I have been fortunate to have worked with brilliant people all across the company, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues – past and present - who have supported me on this journey. 

“I will leave the company in extremely good hands, and well positioned for further growth and prosperity. I am very proud of our achievements over the past three decades, but I still have a great enthusiasm for growing and guiding businesses, and I am looking forward to fresh challenges in the next stage of my career. Nevertheless, Standard Life Aberdeen will always be close to my heart, and I wish everyone associated with the Company all the very best for the future.”