Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Treasury to Quiz Men Behind Aberdeen Splits

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Treasury to Quiz Men Behind Aberdeen Splits

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK HOSKING

TWO fund management executives, who received pound sterling9.5 million in pay and bonuses over two years while their customers lost millions of pounds, face a merciless grilling today from MPs investigating alleged mis-selling of split capital investment trusts.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, and Chris Fishwick, head of special funds, are due to appear before the Treasury Select Committee.

Aberdeen runs 19 different split capital investment trusts, or splits, which have collapsed in value, leaving thousands of small investors nursing heavy losses. Yesterday, shares in its Media & Income Trust were suspended as it faced insolvency.

Gilbert was paid pound sterling1.76 million last year and pound sterling1.37 million the year before, while Fishwick got pound sterling3.21 million last year and pound sterling3.18 million the year before.

But Gilbert is understood to have lost heavily himself, having invested in eight Aberdeen splits. Hit too by the collapse in the Aberdeen share price, he is said to be pound sterling20 million poorer.

Also due to be questioned are Gary Marsh, head of sales and marketing, and Piers Currie, the marketing director for investment trusts at sister company Aberdeen Asset Managers.

The Aberdeen executives were expected to say there was no wrongdoing in the industry, no mis-selling and no collusion between different splits.

But this view conflicts with a report from the Financial Services Authority, which found evidence of misleading advertising, questionable selling techniques and an over-cosy network of cross-shareholdings and multiple directorships. John Tiner, managing director of the FSA, is also due to give evidence today.

The FSA has launched enforcement proceedings against certain fund managers, which could lead to them being disqualified or fined. …

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