The coming together of two of European asset management’s largest groups would result in a veritable colossus.

Their combined £660 billion in assets would move them into the big leagues and put them just outside the world’s top 20 in assets under management.

Across both groups there are a total of 128 fund managers tracked by Citywire, active in 91 investment sectors. The combined experience of those managers is just shy of a thousand years (980 years, 10 months).

The talent pool

Looking at their Citywire Ratings it is actually Aberdeen, who in spite of their troubles, are bringing the largest breadth and depth to marriage. Not only in terms of pure ratings, but also in the variety of sectors in which they are active and successful.

Citywire Fund Manager Ratings

Citywire Fund Manager Ratings look at the individual risk-adjusted returns of every manager tracked globally over the past three years and are updated monthly.

With a combined total of 22 ratings it would place them 27th globally for three year risk-adjusted returns until the end of January this year.

The highest rated fund managers are all from Aberdeen, with the top manager AAA-rated Robert Penaloza. However, Penaloza only runs retail money in Australia. Making him niche and inaccessible to most.

Manager Rating Group Citywire Sector Contributing Funds
Robert Penaloza AAA Aberdeen Equities - Australia Aberdeen Australian Equities
      Equities - Australia Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen Australian Small Companies
      Equities - Australia Aberdeen Ex-20 Australian Equities
Joseph McFadden AA Aberdeen Equities - US Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen US Small Cap Equity Fund
Adrian Lim AA Aberdeen Equities - Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Aberdeen Asia-Pacific (Ex-Japan) Equity Fund
David Cumming A SLI Equities - UK (All Companies) Standard Life Inv UK Equity Recovery
Douglas Burtnick A Aberdeen Equities - US Aberdeen US Multi-Cap Equity Fund
      Equities - US Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen US Small Cap Equity Fund
Jason Kotik A Aberdeen Equities - US Aberdeen US Multi-Cap Equity Fund
      Equities - US Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen US Small Cap Equity Fund
Ralph Bassett A Aberdeen Equities - US Aberdeen American Opportunities
      Equities - US Aberdeen Global - North American Equity
      Equities - US Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen Global - North American SmCos
      Equities - US Aberdeen North American Equity
      Equities - US Aberdeen US Multi-Cap Equity Fund
      Equities - US Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen US Small Cap Equity Fund
Samantha Lamb A SLI Bonds - Emerging Markets Global Corporates SLI Glo SICAV Emerging Market Corporate Bd
Wolfgang Kuhn + Aberdeen Bonds - Euro Corporates Aberdeen Global II - Euro Corporate Bond
Fiona Gillespie + Aberdeen Mixed Assets - Aggressive GBP Aberdeen Multi-Asset
Lyndon Gill + Aberdeen Equities - UK Equity Income SW Multi-Manager UK Equity Income
Chern-Yeh Kwok + Aberdeen Equities - Japan Aberdeen Global - Japanese Equity
      Equities - Japanese Small & Medium Companies Aberdeen Global - Japanese Smaller Comp
Harry Nimmo + SLI Equities - UK Smaller Companies Standard Life Inv UK Smaller Companies
Kieran Curtis + SLI Bonds - Emerging Markets Global Local Currency SLI Glo SICAV EM Local Curr Debt
      Bonds - Emerging Markets Global Corporates SLI Glo SICAV Emerging Market Corporate Bd
Matthew Davies + Aberdeen Mixed Assets - Flexible GBP Aberdeen Capital
Michael Turner + Aberdeen Mixed Assets - Balanced GBP Aberdeen Diversified Income
      Mixed Assets - Aggressive GBP Aberdeen Multi-Asset

Next on the list is the highly impressive AA-rated Joseph McFadden who co-manages the Aberdeen US Smaller Companies fund with Ralph Bassett.

This is unquestionably one of the best US smaller companies portfolios in the world. Over the past five years the duo rank 8/604 managers globally on a risk-adjusted basis, which puts them in the 98th percentile in this highly competitive sector.

Then we get to AA-rated Asian equity specialist Adrian Lim. While Aberdeen’s veteran fund manager Hugh Young has been through a torrid run of performance over the past five years in the same field, Lim has consistently stayed ahead of the benchmark.

Following Lim is Standard Life Investments (SLI) top rated fund manager, A-rated David Cumming. As manager of the group’s UK Equity Recovery fund he has consistently outperformed the benchmark and only failed to receive a monthly rating three times since September 2013.

Veterans' day

Hugh Young is the longest serving manager across either group with nearly 30 years as named fund manager in Asian equities.

He is the individual with the most experience in active in this sector, following last week’s announcement that Stewart Investor’s Angus Tulloch is set to retire.

While recent performance hasn’t been great, Young more than anyone is responsible for making Aberdeen what is today.

Following him are a clutch of SLI managers in UK centric equity sectors. Susan Tarry in Europe excluding UK, Karen McKellar in UK all companies and the renowned Harry Nimmo in UK smaller companies.

Rounding out the top 10 in the longevity stakes are Aberdeen’s mixed asset manager Simon Wood and global emerging market stalwart Devan Kaloo.

Greater than a sum of its parts

Next up we take a look at the combined groups Citywire Group Ratings. These look at performance of every manager in a sector over a seven year period and reward consistency and longevity.

Again Aberdeen are bring the lion’s share to equation with a greater number of group ratings. Though neither group currently has a platinum rating awarded to the top 5% of groups in each sector.

Group Ratings Breakdown
Fixed Income
Sector Rating Group
Emerging Markets Global Hard Currency Silver SLI
Europe High Yield Bronze Aberdeen
Sector Rating Group
Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Silver SLI
Asia Pacific Including Japan Bronze Aberdeen
China Gold SLI
Emerging Markets Europe Silver Aberdeen
Global Silver SLI
Global Emerging Markets Gold Aberdeen
Global Emerging Markets Smaller Companies Bronze Aberdeen
India Bronze Aberdeen
Japanese Small & Medium Companies Bronze Aberdeen
Latin America Silver Aberdeen
Natural Resources Bronze Aberdeen
UK Equity Income Bronze SLI
US Small & Medium Companies Gold Aberdeen
Mixed Assets    
Sector Rating Group
Absolute Return GBP Bronze Aberdeen
Balanced GBP Bronze SLI
Conservative GBP Bronze SLI

At an individual sector level the bias towards equity markets is clear with just two ratings awarded for fixed income; for performance in hard currency emerging market debt and European high yield

In equity markets it is perhaps surprising to see SLI awarded a rating for Asia Pacific Excluding Japan, which has for so long been Aberdeen’s bread and butter.

This has been achieved in the main by William Malcolm manager of the Standard Life Inv Asian Pacific Growth and Standard Life Inv Pacific Basin funds and who ranks 48/137 managers globally for his risk-adjusted returns over the past five years.

The standout ratings are the Golds received in China by SLI and in Global Emerging Markets and US Smaller Companies by Aberdeen.