Standard Life (LON:SL) is considering making Dublin its new European Union hub as the UK prepares to leave the bloc, Bloomberg has revealed. The move will come with the FTSE 100 group currently working at a merger with smaller London-listed peer Aberdeen Asset Management (LON:ADN).
Standard Life’s share price has gained ground in London this morning, having added 1.97 percent to 362.80p as of 09:42 BST, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.02 percent worse off at 7,301.50 points. The group’s shares have added some eight percent over the past year, but have given up more than two percent in the year-to-date.
Standard Life’s chairman Gerry Grimstone told Bloomberg in an interview this week that the blue-chip group was weighing turning its Dublin branch into a subsidiary from which it can ‘passport’ into the rest of the EU. He noted that barring ‘something miraculous’ happening, the Edinburgh-based money manager will no longer be able to service its 500,000 Austrian, German and Irish clients from the UK after the country leaves the bloc.
The firm would then “make the German business a branch of the Irish business,” Grimstone pointed out. “All of us are preparing road maps like” that. Bloomberg further quoted Standard Life spokesman Steve Hartley as saying that Dublin was “one of the options we’re considering but no decision has been made”.
The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Standard Life for the Financial Times have a median target of 398.00p, with a high estimate of 450.00p and a low estimate of 320.00p. As of March 31, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip insurer advises investors to hold their position in the company.