Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management have outlined clear-cut responsibilities for co-CEOs Keith Skeoch and Martin Gilbert, which they will assume when the two firms merge, as a number of investors have questioned how the co-management structure will work in practice.
The two firms announced plans to create a 'supergroup' running some £660bn in assets earlier this month, with the two chief executives of the existing businesses set to become co-CEOs.
However, many market participants have questioned the feasibility of this management structure, despite initially seeing the merger as a broadly positive development for the two firms.
In a statement, the two groups have now revealed how the co-management structure will work in practice.
Skeoch (pictured, left) and Gilbert (pictured, right) will share responsibility for core aspects of the role, such as the executive committee, developing and promoting the combined group's strategy and objectives, and monitoring operational performance and strategic direction.
However, each of them will also have individual responsibilities. Skeoch will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the combined business, including responsibility for investments, pensions and savings, the India and China insurance joint ventures, operations, finance, HR, risk and regulatory culture, as well as the legal and secretariat functions.
Meanwhile, Gilbert will have individual accountability for external matters, including responsibility for international activities, distribution, including client engagement and business development, marketing and corporate development.
The co-CEOs will have joint accountability for communications and the post-merger integration programme.
Gilbert commented: "Keith and I have established a strong working relationship during the deal process and the mutual respect and trust which has been established will form the basis of our ongoing working relationship.
"Importantly we are both team players and see the benefit of delegating decision-making as well as seeking guidance from others to formulate clear strategic objectives. We will draw on our complementary strengths and skill-sets to lead the combined company."
A chairman's committee will also be established to ensure effective co-ordination post-merger, which will be chaired by Sir Gerry Grimstone, with Simon Troughton (deputy chairman of the combined group) and the two co-CEOs as its other members.
The firms said they expect to make further announcements regarding the composition of the proposed executive management teams of the combined group and senior executive responsibilities in due course.
Sir Grimstone said: "I am delighted that we have announced these clear accountabilities for the co-CEOs in the combined business. Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe the proposals play well to Keith's and Martin's respective leadership strengths.
"This blend of complementary skills and experience will serve the company well."
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