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Lloyds awards £30mln of assets pulled from Aberdeen Standard Investments to BlackRock

Scottish Widows has also agreed to a strategic partnership with BlackRock and are near to finalising arrangements for a further £80bn of assets
BlackRock was selected following a competitive tender process

Lloyds Banking Group PLC’s (LON:LLOY) life insurance and pensions business Scottish Widows has awarded £30bn of the £109bn it removed from Aberdeen Standard Investments to BlackRock.

The UK bank announced in February that Scottish Widows would pull its assets from Aberdeen Standard Investments after Aberdeen Asset Management merged with Standard Life.  

The contract to manage the assets was part of Aberdeen’s £650mln acquisition of the asset management unit of Scottish Widows from Lloyds in 2014.

Lloyds said it had decided to terminate the contract because Standard Life’s insurance business was a competitor to Scottish Windows. The contract included a clause that allowed the lender to end the deal in the event Aberdeen was subject to a change of control with a "material competitor".

Ahead of its deal with BlackRock – the world’s biggest asset manager – Scottish Widows also received bids from Schroders, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to manage the assets.

Scottish Widows and BlackRock pursue strategic partnership 

Scottish Widows has also agreed on a strategic partnership with BlackRock that will see the two collaborate in risk management, investment technology and alternative assets classes.

Antonio Lorenzo, chief executive of Scottish Widows and group director of insurance and wealth, said: "BlackRock has been selected following a competitive tender process in which it clearly demonstrated its global market-leading capabilities and deep expertise in the UK market.

"The partnership will ensure that Scottish Widows and the group can deliver good investment outcomes for its customers over the coming years."

The companies are also near to finalising arrangements for the remaining £80bn of assets.

Lloyds in talks for joint venture with Schroders

Earlier this week Schroders confirmed reports that it was in talks with Lloyds for a joint venture of their wealth management businesses. As part of the deal, Schroders was expected to be lined up to take on the £109bn of assets from Scottish Widows.

READ: Lloyds in talks to merge wealth-management arm into joint venture with Schroders

Aberdeen Standard Investments has contested Lloyds’ decision to pull the assets and the two firms are currently locked in arbitration about the contract.

Once the arbitration process or the contract ends, whichever is sooner, BlackRock’s contract to manage the assets will begin. 

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