UK Markets close in 6 hrs 1 min
  • FTSE 100

    6,989.22
    +41.23 (+0.59%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    22,215.25
    +48.11 (+0.22%)
     
  • AIM

    1,238.02
    +2.36 (+0.19%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1644
    +0.0007 (+0.06%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.4131
    -0.0013 (-0.0933%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    40,266.82
    +713.01 (+1.80%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,542.85
    +1,300.18 (+535.76%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,152.10
    -36.33 (-0.87%)
     
  • DOW

    34,269.16
    -473.66 (-1.36%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    65.70
    +0.42 (+0.64%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,833.70
    -2.40 (-0.13%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,147.51
    -461.08 (-1.61%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,231.04
    +217.23 (+0.78%)
     
  • DAX

    15,149.40
    +29.65 (+0.20%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,274.09
    +6.70 (+0.11%)
     

Aberdeen drops Es to become Abrdn in multi-million pound brand make-over

Simon English
·3-min read
 (Abrdn)
(Abrdn)

Standard Life Aberdeen, a grand fund manager at the heart of the financial establishment, took against the letter “e” today in a multi-million pound shake-up that sees it renamed “Abrdn”.

The new name will be part of a “modern, agile, digitally enabled brand”, said chief executive Stephen Bird, who is also changing his name to Stphn, pronounced “Stephen”, said one City wag.

Standard Life was founded in 1825 and manages £460 billion pounds on behalf of investors large and small. It joined the stock market in 2006, a move that in itself sent shockwaves through the staid Scottish financial community.

Aberdeen Asset Management was founded in 1983 – the two merged in 2018. The deal has not been regarded as a success. Profits have tumbled and the dividend to shareholders has been cut.

The company said that its new name would still be pronounced “Aberdeen”, but that the rebrand will make it modern and agile.

It did not elaborate further why removing the Es from Aberdeen would achieve these goals, and the move received further mockery online.

It says there will be “a full stakeholder engagement plan” to “manage the transition”.

Bird said: “Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth.”

Other famous corporate name changes saw Andersen Consulting become Accenture, Philip Morris become Altria and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web becoming Yahoo.

The company said that its new name would still be pronounced “Aberdeen”, but that the rebrand will make it modern and agile.

Streamlining the group’s products under a single brand is an issue that has been at the forefront of Mr Bird’s mind since he took over the top job last year.

“We have six brand names and six websites. So we’re going to fix that,” he said. Since then the six have been slashed to five, after it sold off one of the brands.

After revealing that all remaining brands will be re-named to Abrdn, Mr Bird said: “It is a highly-differentiated brand that will create unity across the business, replacing five different brand names that have each been operating independently.

“Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth.”

The rebranding will start to roll out over the summer and progress through 2021, the company said.

The business was formed in 2017 when Standard Life merged with Aberdeen Asset Management.

But profit has fallen and Mr Bird has said that the business has not proven to be greater than the sum of its parts.

“Standard Life Aberdeen needed to sort out its branding, but the new Abrdn name will likely leave investors feeling dazed and confused,” said AJ Bell financial analyst Laith Khalaf.

“Investors need simple fund names that are recognisable amongst the thousands of investments out there, and having a brand name you can actually say, even if it’s only in your head, is a big help.

He added: “While the Abrdn brand might be specifically designed for the digital world, it looks far from ideal for the real one.

“A full stakeholder engagement plan is promised and don’t be surprised if stakeholders ask for some vowels please, Carol.”

Read More

Stonehaven crash investigators focus on lack of drainage inspections

Collapsed airline Flybe to return to the skies

Banking giants must compete with Google to attract bright young things

Sound On: how TikTok became the world’s radio station