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Jan 25, 2017

Aberdeen Asset Management freezes salaries for high earners

Fund house discloses pay freeze for employees earning more than £75,000

Aberdeen Asset Management has frozen salaries for high earners after a trying year for the third-largest listed European investment company, which recorded almost £33 bn ($41.5 bn) of net outflows in the 12 months to the end of September.

The Scottish fund house, which disclosed the pay freeze for employees earning more than £75,000 in its latest annual report, says the decision to restrict salaries for high earners takes into account the group’s ‘financial performance in 2016’.

Aberdeen’s profits before tax fell by more than a third last year to £222 mn, while its net revenues were down more than a 10th to £1 bn. Total assets under management, however, rose by 10 percent to £312 bn on the back of Aberdeen’s acquisition of several investment boutiques, and positive market and currency movements.

The annual report indicates that some of Aberdeen’s high earners could be exempt from the pay freeze in exceptional circumstances. Martin Gilbert, Aberdeen’s chief executive, saw his total pay for 2016 fall by more than a third to £2.8 mn: he was given a small salary increase of 1.4 percent, but his bonus was cut by 40 percent.