Aberdeen Seeking Acquisitions as Investors Pull Funds, CEO Says

Aberdeen Asset Management Plc is seeking to expand through acquisitions as investors pull money from the firm’s emerging-market funds, Chief Executive Officer Martin Gilbert said.

“We are looking at smaller fill-in acquisitions, as well as big acquisitions,” Gilbert said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in London on Tuesday. “More and more investors are looking to diversified-growth funds, liquid alternatives, these sort of products, so we’re working hard to build those.”

Aberdeen, which has a quarter of its assets in developing markets, on Monday reported 12.7 billion pounds of net outflows ($19 billion) in the three months through September. Gilbert said he is a “bit” more positive about the level of redemptions at the moment, though it’s too early to say whether they are tapering off.

“Next year’s going to be the tough year, when we’ll see the full effect of those redemptions from our funds,” Gilbert said. “I’ve learned that there are many false dawns in this industry.”

The asset manager had raised $500 million for a liquid alternatives fund through August. It bought Scottish Widows Investment Partnership last year from Lloyds Banking Group Plc and may make “four or five” smaller acquisitions next year, Gilbert said on Monday.

Aberdeen has seen more than 1 billion pounds erased from its market value this year.

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