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UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen changes name to ‘Abrdn’

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LONDON: UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen announced on Monday April 26 its intention to change its name to “Abrdn PLC” as part of a plan to consolidate and modernize its brand identity.

The new name – which will sound “Aberdeen” – comes after the company sold its Standard Life brand to life insurer Phoenix earlier this year.

“Our new Abrdn brand builds on our heritage and is modern, dynamic and, most importantly, engaging for all of our clients and client channels,” said Managing Director Stephen Bird, who joined the firm last year.

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“It is a highly differentiated brand that will create unity across the company, replacing five different brands that have each operated independently.”

Edinburgh-based Standard Life merged with Aberdeen-based Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017 and Phoenix bought out SLA’s insurance business in Europe and the UK the following year.

Phoenix took over SLA’s Standard Life brand in February 2021 and resold some of the companies it bought in 2018, as the pair streamlined their partnership. Read more

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The SLA renaming is the latest in a long series of rebranding exercises, some of which have gone better than others. Royal Mail changed its name to Consigna in 2001, only to abandon the name change the following year.

PwC briefly changed the name of its consulting division to “Monday” in 2002, a few weeks before IBM bought the company and retired the name.

Abrdn’s rebranding process will begin this summer with the goal of creating a “digital brand that will also be used for all of the company’s customer-facing activities around the world,” SLA said in a statement.

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A spokesperson for the company said the name change would allow the company to own digital assets such as apps and websites, without confusion with the city of Aberdeen.

SLA stocks rose 1%, outperforming the FTSE 100.

But the move faced a critical reception on Twitter, with one Twitter user asking, “Is this the most absurd name change ever?”

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