Martin Gilbert preparing to build new business empire

Business

City grandee Martin Gilbert is preparing to build a new business empire just months after leaving Standard Life Aberdeen.

The industry veteran, who founded Aberdeen Asset Management and was instrumental in its merger with Standard Life, will use London-listed Assetco as a vehicle through which to start his new firm.

Along with other backers, including Icap founder Lord Spencer, Toscafund and former Aberdeen colleagues, Gilbert, 65, will take a 29.8 per cent stake in Assetco worth £9m.

Empire building: Martin Gilbert will use London-listed Assetco as a vehicle through which to start his new firm

Assetco currently owns a fire and rescue business in the Middle East.

But Gilbert and his backers were attracted by the firm’s £30m of cash, which they hope to use to buy small businesses in the financial services industry.

It has bought a 2.9 per cent stake worth £4.7m in fund manager River & Mercantile, which Gilbert has joined as deputy chairman.

It wants to snap up a range of companies and consolidate them into a firm spanning several areas of wealth management.