Financial services giant Standard Life Aberdeen is changing its name…. to “Abrdn”, a move that has created a stir today.
The new name (pronounced “Aberdeen”, disappointingly) will replace five existing brands, following the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017.
Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell comments on Standard Life Aberdeen’s rebrand as Abrdn: “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.
“The Standard Life Aberdeen brand has been in disarray ever since the merger in 2017. One gets the feeling no-one wanted to grasp the nettle of choosing between two brands with such heritage and pedigree. That seems to have been resolved by the recent sale of the Standard Life brand to Phoenix, clearing the decks for the new Abrdn branding.
“Fund performance is of course more important than branding, and Standard Life Aberdeen has some excellent funds, but you can’t help but feel they have just erected a barrier to investing that needn’t have been there. While the Abrdn brand might be specifically designed for the digital world, it looks far from ideal for the real one. A full stakeholder engagement plan is promised and don’t be surprised if stakeholders ask for some vowels please, Carol.”