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Advisory group focuses on consultant and regional expansion

Advisory group focuses on consultant and regional expansion

Financial advice group Frenkel Topping is looking to expand its operations geographically and increase the number of fee-earning consultants this year, on the back of increased revenue and profits last year.

The listed IFA’s results for 2014, published today (23 March), showed that revenue was up 3.3 per cent to £5.69m when compared to the previous year, while operating profit (before share based payments) rose 21.7 per cent to £1.75m from £1.44m the year before.

Assets under management were also up 10.9 per cent to £619m.

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David Southworth, the company’s chairman, explained that the plan is to increase the number of revenue generating fee-earning consultants from 14 to 16 this year, “which we expect will have a positive impact on growth rates from 2016 onwards, in terms of both profits and funds under management”.

The strategy is to develop a stronger network around key regional cities, from the existing base in Manchester, to in and around Birmingham, London, Bristol and Cardiff.

“In these areas we will further extend our support for litigation professionals through the provision of our expert witness services and by offering their clients our premium investment solutions and advice,” stated Mr Southworth.

This specialist sector was cited as the main driver for new business and a subsequent contributor to funds under management.

Mr Southworth said that in the wake of the changes that are taking place across the legal sector, they increasingly find that the decision of who to instruct for expert witness work and to ultimately provide investment advice is moving away from individual litigators towards the senior partners, managing directors or chief operating officers of law firms.

“Given our strong reputation and long track record in this field, as well as the added transparency and good corporate governance required of us as a public company, we are in an excellent position to take advantage of this shift.”

The firm also maintained its 99 per cent client retention rate for investment management services for the sixth consecutive year.

peter.walker@ft.com