Aberdeen head of Real Estate Backlund to step down, Smith to assume top role

After 10 years leading Stockholm-based Aberdeen Property Investors, Rickard Backlund is to step down from his full-time position. His role will go to chief investment officer Andrew Smith.

Rickard Backlund, Aberdeen Property Investors’ group head of property, is to step down from his role in September when he turns 60 years old. He will be replaced by Andrew Smith, who is currently chief investment officer.

Backlund has led the division for 10 years in which time he oversaw its expansion both organically and via mergers, including with Goodman Property Investors, the indirect investment arm of Sydney-based Goodman Group, and the German open-ended fund group, Degi.

According to an Aberdeen spokesman, Backlund, who joined in 2001, will continue to work with the firm on a consultancy basis. He previously worked for Swedish firms Tyrgg-Hansa, Finans Fastigheter and Skanska.

Backlund’s replacement Smith, was head of strategy and indirect investment management at Goodman Property Investors when the platform was acquired by Aberdeen in 2008.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, the parent of Aberdeen Property Investors, said: “Andrew was the natural choice to succeed Rickard given his experience, knowledge of all aspects of our property division and industry profile. He takes over at a time of increased investor interest in property and in particular our own products.”

Aberdeen Property Investors is currently one of the largest real estate managers in Europe with assets under management of £22.6 billion (€26.2 billion; $32.59 billion).