Danish Standard Life partner on merger with Aberdeen: We'll manage

Capital Investment, which manages Scottish asset manager Standard Life's Danish investments, has faith in a possible merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management despite the reality that a merger could render the Danish partner dispensable.

Last Monday's big European news in asset management and real estate, the prospective merger between Standard Life Investment and Aberdeen Asset Management to form a new player with 660 billlion GBP, or about 750 billion EUR, under management, does not cause concern for one of the partners that otherwise works exclusively with Standard Life Investments on the asset manager's investments in Denmark.

In case of a merger with Aberdeen, Standard Life will get an office in Denmark.

"It's important to remember that we're not lacking investors, but real estate. I'm not worried at all that we will suddenly be short on funds," says Jesper Damborg, CEO and partner in Capital Investment, and continues:

"If we didn't have Standard Life, we would have someone else," he tells FWAM's sister site EjendomsWatch.

Focus on other clients

Damborg emphasizes that even though Standard Life is a big client, it is a client like all others. His company's existence is not based on one client. At the moment, Capital Investment is putting more effort in other clients. One reason for this is that Standard life has chosen not to renew its Danish business with more money, he explains.

"There are investors that invest for a few years, and then they stop. Here you might notice that Standard Life has not raised a new fund lately. So we primarily focus on other clients at the moment. Investors will come and go, and they will keep doing so in the future, but there's plenty of them. The real estate shortage is the main problem these days," says Damborg.

The future is pure guesswork

Even though Damborg and colleagues are confident in the face of potentially losing business with the Scots, Damborg points out that it is more guesswork than facts.

"Nobody knows what they are going to focus on if Standard Life and Aberdeen merge. It's all guesswork right now," he says.

Although future business with Standard Life may be uncertain, Damborg is sure that current agreements will be kept.

"Our agreement with Standard Life is sealed. It can't be transferred or canceled, they're interminable", he says, and explains that it will most likely be a long time before the question of a merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen even becomes relevant:

"Aberdeen and Standard Life first need to fully agree on how they will go about it. Then they need authorization from competition authorities before a merger can happen. So this is not a concern for us at all," says Damborg.

English Edit: Marie Honoré

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