By Ian McConnell

STANDARD Life Aberdeen has hired Caroline Connellan, who has been leading wealth manager Brooks Macdonald since 2017, as its chief executive officer of personal wealth.

Stephen Bird, chief executive of SLA, declared Ms Connellan had “clear and proven ability in building exceptional wealth management businesses, both organically and via acquisition”. He underlined SLA’s ambitions to “build a market-leading wealth management proposition to capture value in the growing savings and pre-retirement market”. Ms Connellan will be based in London and will report directly to Mr Bird, who was appointed chief executive of Edinburgh-based SLA last autumn.

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SLA declared: “Caroline’s appointment comes at a key juncture as SLA looks to significantly grow personal wealth under its...unifying single brand Abrdn.”

It noted its personal wealth business includes 1825 Financial Planning and “direct-to-customer propositions” including its digital retirement advice offering.

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SLA said Ms Connellan had “overseen strong year-on-year growth in funds under management, revenue and profit as well as executing key acquisitions and driving significant transformation to support the success” of Brooks Macdonald.

Prior to this, Ms Connellan held senior roles at banking giant HSBC. SLA noted its new recruit’s “extensive consulting experience across the asset management and wealth sector with McKinsey”. It added Ms Connellan’s “earlier career” included roles with Standard Life, and Newton Investment Management.

Mr Bird said: “She is an outstanding talent.”

Ms Connellan said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining SLA given its ambitions and commitment to the growing wealth market. Stephen’s vision for the business is dynamic and bold.”

Asked if this was a new role, a spokeswoman for SLA noted, with Mr Bird’s appointment, the group had “realigned” its business to “three growth vectors”: investments, adviser, and personal wealth. She added: “The personal wealth vector is currently being managed on an interim basis by Noel Butwell, our CEO of the adviser vector.”