Over before it’s even begun: A “secret” life insurance merger plan between Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has reportedly gone kaput after advanced talks.
Sky News said the two were close to reaching a deal but the bank didn’t want to pursue due to disagreements related to ownership structure. The merger would have involved £300 billion of client assets, according to the report.
In a nutshell, Lloyds supposedly wanted more control and wished for the merged entity to be its fully consolidated subsidiary. SLA, on the other hand, was said to have been rooting for a joint venture structure. Needless to say, the “almost” done deal failed to proceed due to the impasse.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, Lloyds subsidiary Scottish Widows has terminated its partnership agreements with SLA. The announcement was made last week, with the pensions unit revealing it will be examining its asset management arrangements.
“Given the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen has resulted in our assets being managed by a material competitor, it is now appropriate to review our long-term asset management arrangements to ensure they remain up-to-date and that customers continue to receive good service and investment performance,” explained Scottish Widows chief executive Antonio Lorenzo. “Therefore, we will begin an in-depth assessment of the market to identify a long-term strategic partner, or partners, to manage the current £109 billion of assets.”
The SLA camp, for its part, has issued a statement to express disappointment over the decision.