Standard Life Aberdeen ready to ditch 200-year heritage with name sale

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Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (LON:SLA) is preparing to ditch its heritage as part of an overhaul by its new chief executive, according to reports today.

The Standard Life brand is set to be sold to life insurer Phoenix Group Holdings PLC (LON:PHNX), according to Sky News, leading to a review into whether to change the name of the whole group.

Life and pensions group Standard Life merged with fund manager Aberdeen Asset in 2017, but the architects of the deal Keith Skeoch at Standard and Martin Gilbert at Aberdeen, have both left.

Shares in the combined company have also performed poorly since the merger, with confusion over the company’s branding cited as one reason alongside poor investment performance.

Standard Life’s history as a life insurer and pensions group dates back 200 years while the fund arm is now known as Aberdeen Standard Investments and has spent millions in sponsorship of sporting and other events to promote the name.

Stephen Bird, the group’s chief executive, has said that the group has too many brands and needs to streamline.

The Sky report suggested retaining Aberdeen in a new name is under serious consideration especially as it is very well known throughout Asia.

Since the merger, the value of the business has fallen from £11bn to around £7bn.

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