City sceptical of bid to separate joint chief executives' roles

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Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life set out co-chief executive plans for "team players" Martin Gilbert and

Standard Life and Aberdeen have clarified the co-chief executive roles following the shock news of their merger earlier this month.

Standard Life's (LON:SL) chief executive Keith Skeoch will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the company following the group's merger with Aberdeen Asset Management (LON:ADN), the blue-chip insurer has said.

Mr Skeoch defended the co-CEO structure in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph the day before the businesses confirmed their job split, saying that the long-time friends and fishing partners have different skills - he argued that he would be better at running the fabric of a business while Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert suits external-facing jobs.

"Keith and I have established a strong working relationship during the deal process and the mutual respect and trust which has been established will form the basis of our ongoing working relationship", Gilbert said today. "Keith will oversee the fabric of the company whilst I will be more outward facing, focused on building and strengthening client relationships and developing global business".

Once merged, the company - which has yet to choose its name - will have around £660bn under management, of which £357bn is the most recent figure for Edinburgh-based Standard Life.

- Both men will be jointly accountable for communications and the integration of the two businesses after the merger.

The firms said they expect to make further announcements regarding the composition of the proposed executive management teams of the combined group and senior executive responsibilities in due course.

'I am delighted that we have announced these clear accountabilities for the co-chief executives in the combined business, ' Grimstone said. It will be chaired by Gerry Grimstone, who now holds the chairman's role at Standard Life, and also include Deputy Chairman Simon Troughton, Skeoch and Gilbert. Both boards have thought carefully about the key responsibilities and believe the proposals play well to Keith's and Martin's respective leadership strengths.

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