Scottish Widows hands £30bn fund contract to BlackRock after removing Standard Life Aberdeen from mandate

BlackRock have been awarded £30bn by Lloyds Banking Group, after a bidding battle between Schroders, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. The assets were initially managed by Aberdeen Asset Management but were stripped away following Aberdeen Asset Management’s merging with Standard Life.
Scottish Widows had invoked a clause in the Aberdeen contract to withdraw the assets, stating that Aberdeen Standard Life had become a competitor.
In addition to the £30bn mandate, Scottish Widows are now looking to set up a strategic partnership with BlackRock, which would include collaborating in alternative asset classes, risk management and investment technology.
Aberdeen Standard Life have disputed Lloyds’ right to remove the assets and an arbitration process is currently underway.
Lloyds have stated that they are close to making an announcement regarding the remaining £80bn of assets.
Scottish Widows official statement is as follows:
“Following the review of our asset management arrangements announced in February 2018, we have selected BlackRock to manage £30bn of passively managed assets, out of the £110bn of assets that were in the scope of the review.
BlackRock has been selected following a competitive tender process in which it clearly demonstrated its market leading capabilities in passive strategies which will ensure that we can continue to deliver excellent service and investment performance for our customers.
The management of the assets will commence upon conclusion of the current arbitration process with Standard Life Aberdeen or when the existing contract expires. Lloyds Banking Group remains confident in its rights to terminate the current asset management agreements and expects the arbitration process to conclude early next year.
We are also near to finalising arrangements for the remaining £80 billion of assets that were included within the asset management review. An update on these arrangements will be provided in due course.
There will be no interruption to the ongoing investment management of our customers’ portfolios.”
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