Aberdeen appoints former FNZ head

Aberdeen Asset Management is appointing former FNZ CEO Martin Jennings to the role of head of Aberdeen Digital, which includes the overseeing of the asset manager’s workplace pensions joint venture with Hymans Robertson.

Aberdeen Digital is a distinct new business unit in the business that aims to promote usage of the asset manager’s global distribution platform with a focus on investment solutions, and logistics capabilities.

Jennings will also be responsible for recently acquired Parmenion, which provides discretionary fund management and platform services into the UK IFA market.

Jennings held the role of chief Executive of FNZ in both the UK and Australia. Before joining FNZ, he was managing director for Axa’s Elevate platform.

Last June Aberdeen signed a deal with Hymans Robertson to provide its GO online technology. GO has analysed the savings plans of 400,000 individuals, and brought over £2 billion of assets under advice in the year to June 2015. That deal saw the technology made available outside of the workplace DC market to a wide range of individual UK investors.

Jennings will report to Martin Gilbert, chief executive, and Iain Plunkett, chief operating officer & chief technology officer, and will join Aberdeen’s Group Management Board.

Gilbert says:“Martin’s recruitment emphasises further Aberdeen’s commitment to capitalise on the huge technological change the asset management industry is facing and our desire to place platform services at the heart of our business model. In creating a distinct division, we aim to create a culture that can foster innovation, agility and client services.”

Jennings says: “Financial services is changing very rapidly. Not least because digital technology is forcing companies to change what they do; and other companies are emerging, like Parmenion, whose success is down to embracing new technology. Aberdeen wants to be one of the leaders as the world of asset management is challenged, seeing disruption as more of an opportunity rather than a threat.”