Aberdeen Asset Management (Australia) chief executive, Bill Bovingdon, intends to continue in his dual role running Australian fixed income even when the size of his business trebles, assuming the April 30 completion of the assets-for-equity swap with Credit Suisse’s investment arm.
Under the global deal, which will see Credit Suisse transfer most of its traditional funds management business to Aberdeen in return for an equity share in the Scottish-based manager as high as 24.9 per cent, the size of Aberdeen’s Australian business will almost treble overnight from roughly $7 billion under management to over $20 billion.
Aberdeen will become one of the country’s largest fixed interest players, with assets surging from $6 billion to roughly $16 billion.
Despite the increased executive responsibilities, Bovingdon said he would remain at the helm of the fixed income team as well.
"There are similar situations at Aberdeen offices around the world, many of them bigger businesses than Australia. As long as you have great support staff like we have here, it’s a valuable thing to have management that maintains hands-on experience of investing," Bovingdon said.
For instance the head of Aberdeen’s Singapore office and the entire Asian region, Hugh Young, maintains responsibility for global equity portfolios.
Meanwhile, Bovingdon said the question of which Credit Suisse staff would transfer to Aberdeen would not be finalised until after April 30.
He did observe that the two firms’ Australian equity teams had very different approaches – as in all asset classes, the Aberdeen approach is "not negotiable" – and modest funds under management, whereas the two fixed income approaches had "a lot more similarities".
Bovingdon said it was "probably fortunate" that Credit Suisse had not quite finalised permanent replacements for the four fixed income executives (lead by Ben Alexander) who left to form a Challenger-backed boutique last year, as it would make the transition phase to Aberdeen easier.