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Aberdeen rebrands as Abrdn

A decision that has raised a few eyebrows and caused much amusement


Robbie Lawther

Standard Life Aberdeen will change its name to Abrdn.

This comes weeks after life insurance provider Phoenix Group confirmed it will buy the Standard Life brand.

The Abrdn name, which will continue to be pronounced Aberdeen, will be part of a brand that will also be used for all the company’s client-facing businesses, globally.

The identity “marks the next stage in the reshaping of the business and future-focused growth strategy”.

The company is focused on three areas of growth: global asset management, technology platforms for UK financial advisers and their customers, and UK savings and wealth.

‘Unity across the business’

Stephen Bird, chief executive of Abrdn, said: “Our new brand Abrdn builds on our heritage and is modern, dynamic and, most importantly, engaging for all of our client and customer channels.

“It is a highly-differentiated brand that will create unity across the business, replacing five different brand names that have each been operating independently.

“Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth.”

The rebranding roll-out process for the name will begin in the summer and progress through 2021, alongside implementation of a full stakeholder engagement plan to manage the transition.


Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Standard Life Aberdeen needed to sort out its branding, but the new Abrdn name will likely leave investors feeling dazed and confused.

“Investors need simple fund names that are recognisable amongst the thousands of investments out there, and having a brand name you can actually say, even if it’s only in your head, is a big help.

“The fact Standard Life Aberdeen has actually had to explain how to pronounce the new name won’t be lost on financial advisers up and down the country, whose clients might well think they’ve punched a typo into a hastily written report.

“A full stakeholder engagement plan is promised and don’t be surprised if stakeholders ask for some vowels please, Carol.”

Social media

Financial services professionals also took to Twitter to swipe fun at the Abrdn name change.

Phil Young, managing partner at Zero Support, tweeted: “I’ll have a consonant next, Carol. And another. And another consonant please. And another. And another please. #abrdn.”

Martyn Bulman, IFA at Chris Leach & Associates, said: “WOW. Just WOW. Sorry I meant WW #Abrdn.”

Alistair MacLean, IFA at Bird Stewart Financial Services, said: “Give it a month or two and they’ll change it to Standard Life…again #abrdn.”