St James’s Place cites challenging conditions for end 2018 declining inflows

St James Place designed by Scott Brownrigg, Cirencester, Gloucester, UK.

Despite what its Chief Executive Andrew Croft describes as “challenging conditions”, Cirencester-headquartered wealth management group St. James’s Place plc, still managed to report a gross inflow of funds of £15. 7 billion for the twelve months ended 31 December 2018, up eight per cent.

Andrew said: “Against the particularly difficult market conditions that prevailed in the final quarter and compared to an exceptional outcome in 2017, I am pleased to report another good set of results that demonstrate the resilience of our business.”

However, he admitted that clients and advisers are not immune to external market factors and, while the quarter began strongly, inflows weakened in the final two months resulting in gross inflows for the fourth quarter of £3.95 billion.

“This was a robust performance, though slightly lower than our record fourth quarter last year, and resulted in full-year gross inflows of £15.7 billion, which represents growth of 8% over 2017,” he said.

The company reported net inflows of £2.6 billion in the final quarter and £10.3 billion for the year, an increase of 8% over the previous 12 months.

Total funds under management were negatively impacted by lower global investment markets, closing the period at £95.6 billion, up 5% since the beginning of the year.

Andrew added: “While challenging market conditions, like those currently being experienced, will slow the pace of fund inflows from time to time, the fundamentals of our clients’ financial planning requirements remain unchanged. I firmly believe that, with continued focus on achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients through the provision of trusted face-to-face financial advice and our distinctive investment management approach, we remain extremely well placed to continue to grow our business in line with our objectives over the medium term.”