Membership Directory - Individual

Benjamin Brust

Head of General Counsel's Office at abrdn


Bio: Benjamin is the Head of General Counsel's Office (GCO) at abrdn, leading a small team of corporate lawyers delivering globally. He joined as Legal Counsel in 2016, prior to which he practiced in-house in London, advising an alternatives team in the real assets space, and worked as an M&A and capital markets lawyer in private practice in New York City, Brussels and Edinburgh. Reporting directly to the General Counsel, he works alongside executive and senior business leaders to deliver strategic corporate actions, including inorganic growth activity (mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures) and capital markets work. He is also in charge of abrdn's Scots-law legal trainee programme. As a member of the global Legal & Secretariat Leadership Team and the department's representative on the Global Inclusion Committee, Benjamin considers being out and visible a privilege and responsibility.

abrdn is a FTSE100 investment company headquartered in. Benjamin has been a supportive member of Lighthouse, abrdn's LGBT+ network, working with the executive sponsor and co-chairs and is regularly involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Benjamin comments:

"When I was in high school, volunteering at the AIDS treatment centre in my small hometown and coming out of the closet, I saw a community that was ashamed of itself, that was being told by the government and the world that we were less than others. I was determined I would never go back in the closet, and that was that! I came out at school, my afterschool job, and home - not all of which went smoothly in the early 1990's. When I left for university and then New York City, the whole world opened up, and I discovered how vibrant and diverse the LGBT+ community is. However, when I moved to Europe in 2008, it still wasn't legal for me to get married in much of the United States. Until just prior to my own wedding in 2012, it wasn't legal in Scotland, either! While we have made amazing strides in some parts of the world, and I am proud to stand alongside my husband at public events, it is still legal to fire someone or deny them housing simply for being gay in many parts of the US. Much of Europe does not extend family law rights such as marriage to same-sex couples. I have been extremely lucky to work in supportive environments, but it can be unnerving sometimes to look around and realise you are the only gay person in a room or to travel for work to a jurisdiction where you may have to educate your colleagues about the particular dangers you face as an LGBT+ individual. I hope my being visible helps others to be seen and heard."