Martin was the Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, which he co-founded in 1983. Under his leadership, Aberdeen became one of the world’s leading independent asset managers through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. In its first year, the business had AuM of £70 million and reported profits before tax of £87, in 2016 the figure was £352 million with AuM at £312 billion.
Aberdeen merged with Standard Life in2017 to form Standard Life Aberdeen. Following the merger, Martin was appointed co-Chief Executive Officer, a role he stepped down from in March 2019. Martin was Vice Chairman of the group from March 2019 until May 2020. As at 30 April2020, Standard Life Aberdeen’s AuM is £512 billion.
Martin Gilbert stepped down as Chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments, the asset management business of Standard Life Aberdeen on 30 September 2020.
Martin is Chairman of Revolut Limited, Toscafund and is Deputy Chairman of River and Mercantile Group PLC. He is also a Non-Executive Director of ASSETCO Plc, QBE Europe and Saranac Partners.
Outside of the financial services sector, Martin is the Senior Independent Director of Glencore plc and is Chairman of The OGTC in Aberdeen. In 2011, Martin joined the Board of Sky PLC and in January 2016, he was appointed Deputy Chairman until its acquisition by Comcast in 2018. Between 1995 and 2013, he was Chairman of FirstGroup, having been a director since it was formed in 1989.
Martin is honorary president of the Aberdeen social care charity, VSA, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of British American Business. Previously, he was Chairman of the UK Prudential Regulation Authority’s Practitioner Panel as well as a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as Senior Governor of the University of Aberdeen, leading its governing body - the University Court.
In 2015, Harvard Business Review ranked Martin 22nd out of over 900 in its list of the world’s top performing CEOs. Martin was named Personality of the Year at the City AM Awards in 2017 and Asset Management CEO of the Year at the Global Investor Awards the following year. In 2020 Martin was given the Editor’s Choice Award at the Financial News Asset Management Awards in recognition for his contribution to the industry over 37 years. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and Heriot-Watt University. Martin is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Imperial College Business School.
Martin, who was born in Malaysia, earned an MA in accountancy and a LLB in law from the University of Aberdeen. After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, he joined the investment department of local law firm Brander & Cruickshank, which went on to become Aberdeen Asset Management.