Wealth management company reports record funds under management

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

St James’s Place, the Cirencester-headquartered wealth management company wrapped up 2019 with record funds under management, despite the year being a challenging one, according to its Chief Executive Andrew Croft.

“Last year was challenging for the UK wealth management sector with investor sentiment being impacted by uncertain macro­economic indicators, the US/China trade dispute, and the domestic political environment,” he said.

Positive net flows, together with the impact of positive investment returns, increased client funds under management to a record £117.0 billion.

Andrew added: “The fundamentals underlying the business remain strong and over time, increasing funds under management will generate increased returns. However, in the short term, our profit has been impacted by the more modest gross flows relative to the planned investment in the business for future growth.”

The results mean that the company is proposing a five per cent increase in the final dividend, to 31.22 pence per share, making for a full year dividend of 49.71 pence per share, representing a growth of three per cent.

The Parliamentary majority following the December 2019 General Election provides for longer-term political stability, which has translated into improved investor sentiment, said Andrew. He added: “This has consequently resulted in an increase in activity across the business with new investments seeing a return to good growth in the early part of 2020. Uncertainties remain for the UK and there are market concerns as a result of coronavirus, but we are encouraged by this start to the year which, together with the strength and scale of our business today, gives us confidence that we are well placed to continue to grow.”

EEV* new business contributions were £783 million, down from £852.7 million the previous year), with EVV operating profits of £952 – down from £1,002 million in 2018.

Profit after tax is £146.6 million, down from £173.5 million the previous year.





(European Embedded Value, a standard valuation metric for European life insurers which estimates the consolidated value of shareholders’ interest in an insurance company),