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Charles Stanley to grow financial planning arm

Charles Stanley to grow financial planning arm

Charles Stanley plans to expand its financial planning business to offer existing customers a more holistic service, after reporting another year of losses.

According to the company’s results for the year ending 31 March, the discretionary fund manager reported a modest loss after tax of £300,000, down from the 2015 loss of £6.1m.

Revenue stood at £141.6m, down more than 5 per cent from 2015’s figure of £149.7m.

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Chief executive Paul Abberley said he is confident the business is heading in the right direction as it undergoes a strategic review to reshape its structure and processes.

The firm announced last year it was planning a radical restructure of the business, which includes pulling their various London offices into one site.

Losses largely came from the investment management business, which suffered a 4.3 per cent decline in revenue down to £120m from £125.4m.

However, revenue for its financial planning arm nudged up slightly, hitting £6m from the £5.7m posted in the previous year.

Speaking to Financial Adviser, Mr Abberley said: “It is certainly our intention to invest in the financial planning division. The priority there is to make sure financial planning is available to existing customers of the firm.

“We have had many customers in the past who have not needed financial planning for one reason or another, but increasingly nowadays, people are seeking advice, and we want to ensure our current customers can source advice internally rather than having to look elsewhere.”

He said this means the firm is looking to increase its resources to deliver that.

But despite plans to grow the financial planning side of the business, Mr Abberley added that growth will still be dominated by its investment management arm, which will remain the core part of the firm.

Charles Stanley’s asset management division also saw a slight increase in revenue, up to £5.5m from £5.1m in the previous year.

Ben Money-Coutts, interim chief financial officer, said he was confident the business would be in the black by the same time next year.

Commenting on the company’s expansion plans into the advice space, James Candow, financial adviser at Continuum, said: “Some healthy competition is never a problem, so I wouldn’t see this announcement as a threat to the advice business.

“With adviser numbers shrinking, it’s always good to have some new blood.”

katherine.denham@ft.com