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Standard Life Aberdeen SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52254553 | Aug 2017

OVERVIEW

Name of the Company: Standard Life Aberdeen

Business Sector: Banking and Financial Services, Asset Management

Operating Geography: Europe, UK, Global

About the Company: Standard Life Aberdeen was formed as a result of merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017. The company is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland and has operations across the globe.

Revenue: GBP 18.73 billion (FY 2016)

SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

The SWOT analysis for Standard Life Aberdeen is presented below:
Strengths
Weaknesses
1. Diversified world class investment company
2. Merger to leverage Standard Life and Aberdeen's combined strengths
3. Strong pension and savings platform
1. Concerns about the viability of the co-chief executive arrangement setup post-merger
Opportunities
Threats
1. Evolution of the UK pensions and savings market
2. Entry and expansion in US and India markets
1. Financial Conduct Authority 2017 report to put pressure on UK’s asset management industry
2. Market volatility due to adverse political developments
3. Competition from passive funds operating at a lower cost base
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Strengths

1. Diversified world class investment company: Standard Life Aberdeen is a world class investment company. Through improved diversification Standard Life Aberdeen has the capability to deliver high returns through economies of scale and ensure sustainable, progressive dividend for its shareholders. Further, Standard Life Aberdeen offers sophisticated investment solutions globally with an established distribution channel, a key strength which it can leverage upon.

2. Merger to leverage Standard Life and Aberdeen's combined strengths: The merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen has created an entity leveraging the strengths of both the players. The combined entity will be UK’s largest fund manager with more than £660bn of assets under management (AUM). Aberdeen core strengths lie in emerging markets and utilities whilst Standard Life is well established in developed markets and multi-assets and solutions. Further the integration will help in deepening and broadening the investment capabilities across a wide range of financial products across asset classes and geographies.

3. Strong pension and savings platform: Standard Life Aberdeen is strongly committed to investment platforms which is one of its core competencies. There has been considerable financial resource allocation and management focus on platforms and the acquisition of AXA’s Elevate platform in 2015 is an evidence in this regard. Further, Standard Life in 2016 announced the ‘Accelerate’ program, a £30m investment for platform developments which will help in enhancing the technology and infrastructure and strengthen Standard Life Wrap’s optimization for Pension Freedoms. Also the company boasts of a Defaqto 5 Star Platform Rating, Winner of Platform of the Year and Best Platform Provider (AUM over £12.5bn) for 2014, 2015 and 2016  

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References

1. Standard Life Aberdeen Merger: https://www.standardlife.com/sites/dotcom/library/06032017-proposed-merger-SL-AAM-presentation.pdf

2. Standard Life Aberdeen Plc Merger Prospectus: https://www.standardlife.com/sites/dotcom/library/GM2017-Prospectus.pdf

3. Investors pouring billions into passively managed funds: https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/27/more-investors-are-making-the-switch-to-passively-managed-etfs.html

4. AKG's Platform Profile: http://library.adviserzone.com/AKG-standard-life-savings-feb-2017.pdf

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The PESTLE / PESTEL analysis for Standard Life Aberdeen is presented below:
Political
Economical
1. Exposure to global political developments brings uncertainty 1. Low growth environment affecting investment returns
Social
Technological
1. Increased longevity and ageing populations to drive growth in after-retirement financial solutions1. Technologies like Blockchain to change the dynamics of the asset management industry
2. Digitalization to transform platforms and customer experiences
Legal
Environmental
1. Regulatory reforms to increase cost of doing business1. Climate change risk on portfolio investments
2. Environmental impact management initiatives
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Political

1. Exposure to global political developments brings uncertainty: Adverse political developments across the globe has impacted investor sentiment. The UK’s unexpected withdrawal from the EU, upcoming elections in many EU countries US and potential changes in US. Policy during the Trump administration have added to investor anxiety. Further there is a possibility of a second Scottish referendum for independence post the Brexit vote and should Scotland vote out of UK, it will have an adverse impact on Standard Life Aberdeen.

Economic

1. Low growth environment affecting investment returns: The macro environment especially in the developed economies in the West is going through a subdued phase marked by low growth; low inflation; low interest rates and ageing populations. Many countries suffer from excess of savings over investment and weak productivity. Thus there is a considerable demand asset management companies services with above-average returns in these markets. Further, increased protectionism majorly impacts global trade with banking and financial sector bearing major brunt. Indications of implementation of trade protectionism policies under President Trump is a major concern for financial markets which may lead to major changes in global trade flows. Thus leading players such as Standard Life Aberdeen will need to strongly focus on active management strategies to deliver enhanced returns to investors.

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Standard Life Aberdeen PESTLE analysis has been conducted and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.
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