Whenever keith skeoch joined up with edinburgh-based traditional lifetime aberdeen before the turn of the millennium it was able a smallish 67bn for consumers. a great deal changed subsequently. the chief professional is making an investment house or apartment with just over 511bn in assets. their successor citis stephen bird faces the dual challenge of developing the business enterprise whilst pushing down stubbornly high expenses.

On friday, mr skeoch led his final full-year results presentation after five years inside top task. half-year profits had been slightly much better than analyst objectives and net outflows from resources did sluggish. yet sla continues to be behind schroders given that uks biggest separate fund manager. and also if mr skeoch along with his staff have brought overheads down, the core cost-to-income ratio, excluding joint ventures and colleagues, seems high at 82 %. that figure has to fall below 70.

So long as watchdogs accept his visit, an outsider eg mr bird might make the difference based their method. he may try to grow sla or refocus its energy about what it as soon as did best: active administration. at slas dimensions it barely helps make the top 30 of international asset managers, based on ipe information. while another transformational merger will never be preferred, sla has firepower. it sits on extra money of 1.7bn plus than that in equity stakes it could feasibly offer, explains numis.

However, dimensions will not guarantee success. slas a lot smaller crosstown competitor, independently held baillie gifford, excels. and you can find samples of huge asset managers turning by themselves circular. think about germanys dws, spun-out of deutsche bank in 2018 as a listed business. after a rocky begin in the aftermath of its ipo, costs have declined and the share price performance this season far exceeds that of sla and schroders.

Some patience is required. let's assume that mr bird aims to rebuild slas reputation from within, he could be have to some time.