Abrdn chief executive to step down

24/05/2024
abrdn reception

STEPHEN Bird is stepping down as chief executive of Abrdn after a stormy four-year tenure that included a controversial rebranding of the group.

In a market update this morning, Abrdn said that “following the significant strategic repositioning of the company” it was the right time for Mr Bird to step aside.

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He will leave the company at the end of June, when chief financial officer Jason Windsor, who joined the company in October, will step in as interim chief executive.

The company shut its Aberdeen office as part of a drive to save £150million earlier this year.

Ninety employees based at the firm’s Granite City office on Queen’s Terrace were asked to work from home, while up to 500 colleagues from elsewhere in the business were made redundant.

It is the end of an era for the firm, which was founded in 1983 as Aberdeen Asset Management by Martin Gilbert, George Scott and Ronnie Scott Brown.

Sir Douglas Flint, Chairman of abrdn, said: “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Stephen for everything he has achieved at abrdn over the last four years. He joined us as the pandemic took hold and, despite the restrictions this imposed, spearheaded a fundamental reshaping of the company, leading from the front to create a company that can be competitive in a fast-evolving sector.

Mr Bird said: “I am immensely proud of the work we have done together to simplify abrdn and position the company for sustainable growth. Together with a refreshed leadership team and an incredibly committed group of colleagues at all levels, we have refocused our global Investments business as a specialist asset manager, working to address its cost base and build mutually beneficial linkages with our wealth businesses.

“It has been a privilege to lead abrdn through an intensely challenging time in our industry and I am grateful to my colleagues for their support and commitment to serving our clients with distinction. I leave the company well positioned, having embedded greater diversification of revenues, retained a strong capital position and, most importantly, developed a refreshed leadership team which is ready and eager to take on the challenge of realising abrdn’s full potential.”

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