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Top fund manager to cut hundreds of jobs

london commuters
london commuters

Hundreds of jobs are set to be axed at top fund manager Abrdn in the latest blow to the City.

Around 500 roles are expected to be cut from Abrdn’s 5,000-strong business as the group aims to reduce costs by around £75m at its main investment division.

Abdrn is expected to unveil the cuts alongside a trading update on Wednesday by chief executive Steve Bird, according to Sky News.

Shares have struggled with poor performance in recent years and the fund manager continues to clock up outflows.

The Abrdn cuts are the latest to dent UK financial services after Barclays slashed 5,000 jobs last year and Metro Bank outlined plans to scrap 850 roles. Citi could also cut hundreds of jobs in the UK  in a significant restructure, while 2,500 roles are at risk at Lloyds bank.

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Mr Bird has moved fast to try and shore up the misfiring company, snapping up Interactive Investor for £1.5bn last year in a bid to boost Abrdn’s consumer focus and make the firm a nimble tech player.

The deal helped expand Abrdn’s tech focus but raised questions over the future of its traditional fund management division.

Stephen Bird, chief executive officer of Abrdn Plc
Abrdn chief Steve Bird is under pressure to reduce costs by around £75m - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Bird reportedly discussed selling the investment management division following the acquisition but the board decided against the move.

To slow the downturn, Abrdn has instead turned to a cost-cutting drive to improve the performance of shares. The stock is down 15pc in the past year alone.

In August, Abrdn said it had cut £30m of costs from the investment business owing to a 9pc reduction in front and middle office workers. The funds group is aiming to cut £75m in total.

Abdrn is also reducing its office space to save money, and Mr Bird has slimmed down the company’s range of funds.

It moved its Edinburgh offices to cheaper premises earlier this year as part of the austerity drive.

Abrdn suffered a pre-tax loss of £169m for the half year ending June 2023 and shares are down 70pc since their 2015 high point.

Abrdn was formed from a merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life in 2017.

Bird replaced co-chief executives Keith Skeoch and Martin Gilbert in 2020 when the company was known as Standard Life Aberdeen. It later rebranded as Abrdn.

Abrdn declined to comment.