We are delighted that Standard Life Aberdeen recognises the value that Phoenix's ownership of these businesses can deliver and has chosen to become our largest shareholder with a holding of 19.99%.
Sir Gerry Grimstone, Standard Life Aberdeen chairman, said: "This transaction completes our transformation to a capital-light investment business, a process started in 2010 with the sale of Standard Life Bank, continuing with the sale of our Canadian business and the merger a year ago between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management".
The sale is part of a long-standing drive by the Standard Life business to exit insurance, which carries onerous capital rules as a result of the industry's European Solvency II rules. The sale is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2018. As of April 2017, men were paid on average 34 percent more than women at Aberdeen, and 42 percent more than women at Standard Life.
SLA said it would retain its United Kingdom retail platforms and financial advice business.
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In the quarter, operating loss before tax was 583 million pounds, down from loss of 4.06 billion pounds in the prior year. Adjusted operating profit fell to 512 million pounds from 1.19 billion pounds a year ago.
The sale to Phoenix comes in the wake of failed talks between Standard Life Aberdeen and Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) which ended last week with the bank and its Scottish Widows life assurance business deciding to withdraw £109bn of assets under management from the fund manager due to competition concerns.
Bannister estimated that 2 billion pounds of workplace pensions and 4 billion pounds in drawdown products could be won annually.
The asset management giant also announced that it had pressed the firing gun on its search for a new chairman as Sir Gerry Grimston will step down from the board next year.
Assets under management and administration rose 1% over the period to £654.9 billion, although the company said it continued to see outflows from its asset management as market conditions remained "tough".
SLA said it would pay a full-year dividend of 21.3 pence a share, up 7.5% on the prior year.