Abrdn confirms plan to cut around 500 jobs

Investment giant has already launched a redundancy process within its Belfast-based financial planning business

Capita HR Solutions is based at The Metro Building in Belfast.
Abrdn's financial planning and advice business is based at the Metro Building, on Belfast's Donegall Square South.

Investment giant Abrdn will cut hundreds of jobs as it seeks to cut millions of pounds from its annual costs and make its business more profitable.

The firm said that it wanted to save around £150 million per year, and would cut back around 500 jobs as a result.

The “bulk of the savings will be in non-staff costs”, the Edinburgh-headquartered business said. But the job cuts will still reduce its workforce by approximately 10%.

The announcement comes after reports that Abrdn has already moved to cut a number of advisers and paraplanners from its Northern Ireland team.

In November, Money Marketing reported Abrdn wanted to align its financial planning business, based at Belfast’s Metro Building, with the model it has in the rest of the UK.

Abrdn confirmed it had initiated consultation on a number of redundancies.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group said around £8 in every £10 that it will look to save will be in its investments arm, which in the six months to the end of December “continued to face structural headwinds”.

Money flowed out of the industry across the world, the firm added, as global politics made investors jittery.

The cost-cutting will include removing management layers, making outsourcing and technology more efficient, and much of the saving will come from support services.

It will cost the business around £150 million to carry out the cost-cutting and most of it will happen this year.

“Market conditions have remained challenging for our mix of business,” said chief executive Stephen Bird.

“The board and I are committed to taking these significant cost actions now to restore our core Investments business to a more acceptable level of profitability.”

“We exceeded our £75 million cost-reduction target for 2023 for Investments, but we recognise more needs to be done.

“After a root and branch review, we are now re-engineering and simplifying our business model to remove at least £150 million of costs - mostly from group functions and support services.”

Abrdn said that its assets under management and administration fell from £495.7 million in the middle of last year to £494.9 by the end of the year.

The statement from Abrdn confirms a Sky News report which was published on Tuesday. Shares fell 1.7% on Wednesday morning.