Aberdeen names new fixed-income leaders in Europe

Aberdeen Asset Management has named new leadership for its £30 billion-plus fixed-income business in Europe.

Wolfgang Kuhn

Wolfgang Kuhn has been appointed head of pan-European fixed income at Aberdeen

The £290 billion fund manager, which managed some £90 billion in bonds globally at the end of 2015, confirmed in a March 16 statement that Neil Murray, head of pan-European fixed income, and Neil Williamson, head of pan-European credit research, had left and would be moving abroad to join an in-house investment team.

Neither Murray nor Williamson could be reached for comment.

Wolfgang Kuhn, Aberdeen’s head of pan-European credit, has replaced Murray, while Jonathan White, an investment manager in the group’s credit team, has stepped up to fill Williamson’s position. Roger Webb, a senior investment manager in the pan-European credit team, replaces Kuhn.

Aberdeen’s European fixed-income team employs around 30 staff who manage roughly £33 billion. But fixed income has been a challenging asset class for the group, which suffered £6.4 billion of net outflows globally for the year to September 30, 2015. European fixed income accounted for £277 million of that figure.

The group’s fixed-income business has been an area of focus for chief executive Martin Gilbert over the last decade, highlighted by the acquisitions of businesses from Deutsche Asset Management in 2005 and Credit Suisse in 2009.

Murray is a fixed-income specialist who joined Aberdeen in 2014 following its £550 million acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. He led Swip‘s credit team in New York and also helped set up the group’s US high-yield and US investment-grade capabilities.

His replacement Kuhn joined Aberdeen in 2006 from UBS Global Asset Management, where he had managed global and euro corporate investment-grade portfolios.

Webb, the man promoted to replace Kuhn as head of pan-European credit, has most recently overseen investment-grade and unconstrained fixed-income asset allocation funds. He too joined Aberdeen following the Swip acquisition.

Williamson joined Aberdeen following the acquisition of Deutsche Asset Management’s London and Philadelphia fixed-income businesses in 2005. His successor White arrived in 2012 from Royal Bank of Scotland, where he worked as an investment-grade credit analyst.

Aberdeen said in a statement: “Wolfgang and Roger both have extensive fixed income investment experience and are supported by a strong, long-standing leadership team and a significant depth of investment resource.”

On February 1, it was announced that Anne Richards, Aberdeen’s chief investment officer, would be leaving to join M&G Investments as its new CEO, replacing Michael McLintock later in 2016. Aberdeen’s chairman Roger Cornick will also be leaving on April 23.

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