Gordon Neilly’s relationship with Martin Gilbert’s Aberdeen stretches back more than two decades
Gordon Neilly’s appointment as global head of strategy at Aberdeen Asset Management coincides with Schroders’ hire of Huw van Steenis, the well-regarded financials analyst at Morgan Stanley, in the same capacity. Both positions are newly created.
At Aberdeen Asset Management, Neilly, who started work in June, reports directly to Gilbert, while van Steenis will report to Peter Harrison, Schroders’ chief executive.
Fund managers are increasingly seeking advisory talent to help them make the most of existing businesses, streamline them where necessary and back new ideas through “corporate venturing”.
People familiar with Aberdeen Asset Management said Neilly’s tasks will include working out ways to make the most of its fixed-income and multi-asset businesses, following setbacks for its dominant emerging markets business.
David Boyle, who succeeded Hugh Little in June 2015 as Aberdeen Asset Management’s internal head of acquisitions, will join Neilly’s team.
Gilbert said in a statement: “At a time when the asset management landscape is changing and clients’ needs are evolving we are delighted that Gordon has agreed to come on board to assist in the development of the group’s strategy and to oversee its implementation.”
Neilly said: “I’m delighted to be joining Aberdeen, a company I have worked with for over two decades. I’m looking forward to helping Aberdeen confront the challenges facing the industry.”
A familiar figure on the Scottish corporate scene, Neilly advised Gilbert on a brace of deals as CEO of Intelli Corporate Finance between 1999 and 2009. They included a 2000 bid for investment trusts managed by Gartmore and Aberdeen’s acquisition of Goodman Property Investors in May 2008.
He joined Cantor Fitzgerald Europe as head of corporate finance in July 2012, adding the title of co-chief executive in September 2014.