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David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, has become the first high profile departure from the Scottish investment house after its parent company confirmed plans to merge with rival fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management.

Standard Life Investments confirmed that Mr Cumming, who worked at the Edinburgh-based fund house for 18 years, has chosen to leave the company.

His departure comes just days after the asset manager’s parent group, Standard Life, announced it would acquire Aberdeen in a deal that is expected to cause significant disruption for the two companies’ investment teams.

Both companies have significant overlap in areas including equities, fixed income and multi-asset investing.

Mr Cumming joined Standard Life in 1998 as an investment director responsible for corporate pension funds and UK equities. He was promoted to head of UK equities 17 years ago.

Stan Pearson, head of European equities, has assumed the role of acting head of equities, and Andrew Millington, director of equity research is now acting head of UK equities.

Rod Paris, chief investment officer at Standard Life Investments, said:

“I would also like to thank David for his support and contribution to the business over the many years we have worked together, and wish him the very best.”

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