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Tribunal rules in favor of Standard Life Aberdeen in dispute with Lloyds

An arbitration tribunal has ruled in favor of Standard Life Aberdeen PLC in the U.K. asset manager's dispute with Lloyds Banking Group PLC and insurance unit Scottish Widows Group Ltd. over an asset management contract.

The tribunal, which was formed to settle the matter, ruled that Lloyds and Scottish Widows were not entitled to give notice in February 2018 to terminate their long-term asset management arrangements with Standard Life Aberdeen, covering the management of around £100 billion of assets.

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch said the company is carefully considering its next steps and will "work constructively" with Lloyds and Scottish Widows to resolve the matter.

Lloyds said it was "disappointed" with the ruling but will continue to work closely with the asset manager to ensure there is no disruption to performance or service, the Financial Times reported. The group said it will discuss starting the process of transferring assets to BlackRock Inc. and Schroders PLC.

In October 2018, Lloyds and Scottish Widows selected BlackRock to manage £30 billion of assets in index strategies, which are part of the investment portfolio put up for grabs after Lloyds decided to terminate the contract with Standard Life Aberdeen.

Schroders will also take on an approximately £80 billion investment management mandate of Scottish Widows and Lloyds insurance and wealth-related assets, including around £13 billion of assets to be transferred to a joint venture it will form with Lloyds and the £400 million transferred to Schroders' wealth management unit. The joint venture is expected to begin operations in the first half.

Schroders still intends to move forward with launching the said joint venture with Lloyds, a person briefed by Schroders told the FT.