St. James’s Place record performance as co-founder passes away

Mike Wilson, St. James’s Place

St. James’s Place plc, the Cirencester-based wealth management group has issued its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2017 the day after the death of its co-founder, Mike Wilson.

In reaction to the sad news, St. James’s Place CEO, Andrew Croft, said: “Everyone at St. James’s Place is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mike Wilson. As co-founder, CEO, Chairman and, latterly, Life President of St. James’s Place, Mike embodied the values the company has always held dear. He helped shape and deliver a vision for the wealth management industry by placing the best quality, relationship-based advice at its core. And, in the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, Mike leaves an extraordinary legacy of giving back to others.

“On behalf of St. James’s Place, I would like to pay tribute to Mike’s contribution to our company, our industry and the many causes that have benefited from the Foundation’s work and express our deepest condolences to Mike’s family and friends.”

St. James’s Place 2017 financial highlights include new business profit of nearly £800 million (up from £520 million in 2016) and net inflow of funds under management of £9.5 billion (2016: £6.8 billion).

Funds under management are £90.7 billion. The company is now represented by 3,661 qualified advisers across its Partnership businesses

Andrew Croft commented on the results. He said: “As we announced in January, during 2017 we achieved record gross inflows which at £14.6 billion were up 29% whilst net inflows were up 40% to £9.5 billion, reflecting the continued strong retention of existing client investments. These net flows, together with strong investment returns, increased the funds we manage on behalf of our clients by 20% over the year to close at an all-time high of £90.7 billion.”

Given the strong performance of the business, the Board has proposed a final dividend of 27.45 pence per share, up 33%, which brings the full year dividend to 42.86 pence per share, up 30%.

“I believe there are great opportunities ahead for St. James’s Place,” said Andrew. “Our core target market is already large and forecast to grow further still, driven by favourable demographic trends and the accumulation of investable assets as savers take on the responsibility for providing for their own well-being in retirement.”