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Friday, November 13, 2020

Will a $677B-AUM Multinational Buy an ETF Biz?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Perhaps a certain publicly traded, multinational asset management giant might be buying its way into the ETF business in a big way soon.

Stephen Bird
Standard Life Aberdeen
Stephen Bird, who took over in September as CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen (parent of Aberdeen Standard Investments), tells Bloomberg that he wants to build up a passive management business, one that would account for up to 30 percent of the firm's AUM. Standard Life Aberdeen has $677 billion in AUM. So, even without any growth on the active side (the firm's traditional focus), that would mean adding about $290 billion in passive AUM.

"An ideal active-passive split would be 70/30," Bird reportedly said, describing such a shift as part of making Standard Life Aberdeen "a 21st century competitor."

"If you stay as an old traditional asset class asset manager, you will be extinct," Bird reportedly added.

Watch for Bird to find deals in the ETF or alternative spaces, though he'll probably shy away from acquiring any traditional active asset managers.

"I've got an M&A screen that I developed with team here," Bird told the publication. "I identified a gap. One was passive globally. We can either buy proprietary ETF technology, buy an ETF business or build it. The other gap was in private markets." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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