Scottish fund managers to hire hundreds globally as assets reach $890bn

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On the back of a surge in assets under management last year, Scotland’s largest fund managers are embarking on recruitment sprees that could see hundreds of staff recruited in Edinburgh and across the world.

The combined assets of Aberdeen Asset Management, Baillie Gifford, Standard Life Investments (SLI) and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) increased by 9.1% to £587.8bn ($890bn) in 2012, according to Bloomberg analysis.

SLI, which posted record earnings of £145m for 2012, is likely to recruit 80-120 people globally this year across investment roles and more operational functions, according to Gordon Teasdale, head of people function at the firm.

“We’re recruiting for our North American business in Boston and for our Asian office, but we’re also building out our equities function in the UK and multi-asset class platform,” he said.

Baillie Gifford, which has 752 employees (largely in Edinburgh) and increased AUM by 22% to £85bn last year, is likely to hire around 80 people in 2013 including seven into its graduate trainee scheme. In May, it is set to name three new partners; Spencer Adair, an investment manager in its global alpha team, Katherine Hamilton, a director responsible for North American clients and Graham Laybourn, director of legal and regulatory risk.

SWIP cut 27 of its 38 fund managers in April last year as it changed its focus to quantitative strategies. However, in the last three months of 2012 it made some senior hires including Martyn Gilbey as head of wholesale with Michaela Rayner and Martin Orrin joining the division’s sales function. It also added three people – C. Ryan Miller, Justin Ziegler and Martin McCudden – to its US fixed income team.

SWIP said that it has added nine people across the business so far this year, and intends to "strengthen its capabilities" throughout 2013.

Aberdeen didn’t respond to requests for comment, but increased headcount by nearly 100 to 1,947 in 2012, according to its annual report.

Scotland has long had a large fund management industry, but has often struggled to attract investment talent to roles in Edinburgh. In the past, the large fund houses have relied on talent already present locally. Poaching talent from competitors was a common tactic.

In recent months, as opportunities have dried up for fund managers in London and across Continental Europe, jobs in Scotland have attracted more international interest.

“Edinburgh in an attractive destination for fund managers professionally, but undoubtedly most people – particularly those with young families – move here for the lifestyle,” said Richard Barry, human resources manager at Baillie Gifford. “We’ve seen particular interest from Scottish returnees.”

Teasdale believes that Edinburgh has become something of a magnet for fund management talent globally.

“We’ve hired people from New York, London, Continental Europe and even recently from New Zealand,” he said. “The reality is that Edinburgh is a very attractive place to work. Not only do people move here for the right opportunity, but we also have staff doing a weekly commute to London or Dublin.”

SLI is one of 13 fund managers that have signed up for the trainee programme, Investment 2020. The plan is to offer eight roles in the summer of this year and the firm expects to offer a “significant proportion” full-time positions, according to SLI people consultant Heather Winpenny.

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