Aberdeen Asset Management has hired Vance Duigan as chief operating officer for Asia Pacific to succeed Andrew Narracott, who will retire later this year after 10 years with the fim, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Duigan, an alumnus of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, joined Aberdeen on April 3 in Singapore, reporting to Ian Macdonald, deputy head of Asia Pacific.

“In January Andrew Narracott intimated his desire to retire from the industry,” a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor by email. “Andrew is currently helping to oversee a smooth transition as a director of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, but will retire sometime before the end of the year.”

Duigan was most recently Singapore-based chief administrative officer for Asia Pacific at GSAM until he left the firm in 2013, said the spokeswoman. She did not respond to a query about what he had done since then.

Duigan had also served as CAO for Korea and Japan at GSAM and prior to that as director of investment operations for Hong Kong from 2001 to 2003.

Aberdeen is merging with UK insurance group Standard Life. Asked about the deal's implications for Aberdeen's operations team, the spokeswoman declined to comment.

Andrew Narracott

Post-merger, the biggest headcount reduction is seen as likely to come in the UK rather than in Asia, because most of the staff are based in Britain and that is where most of the role duplication would be. However, operations and compliance teams are areas of overlap that are likely to be targeted for cost-efficiency in a merger of fund houses, note industry observers.

Narracott was named AsianInvestor's COO of the year for 2016. Before becoming Asia-Pacific COO at Aberdeen in May 2014, Narracott was head of business systems for the region for seven years. Prior to joining, he had been head of IT and operations at Deutsche Asset Management.

Another senior operational move recently was that of Michael Marquardt, who departed as Asia-Pacific COO of BlackRock on March 31 and is seeking a new role, as reported. His responsibilities have been assumed by Andy Reynolds, in addition to his duties as regional chief financial officer and head of corporate strategy.