St James's PlaceJul 28 2021

Clients plough £9.2bn into SJP in first half of year

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Clients plough £9.2bn into SJP in first half of year

St James's Place has seen its funds under management hit new levels in the first half of the year, reaching £143.8bn.

In a trading update today (July 28), the firm said it had seen net inflows of £5.5bn in the six months to June 30, up from £4.5bn in 2020, representing 8.6 per cent of opening FUM.

Gross inflows were £9.2bn, up 27 per cent on the £7.3bn in the previous year.

The firm credited a combination of factors including improving client sentiment, a sharp increase in household savings rates and high levels of client engagement for the inflows.

Andrew Croft, chief executive officer, said he expected gross inflows to grow 20 per cent in the second half of the year.

He said: “The impact of the pandemic on the timing and value of flows in 2020 and 2021 will naturally result in a variable pattern of year on year growth and normal phasing of business.

"Taking this into account together with a strong start to July, we anticipate a rate of gross inflow growth for the second half of around 20 per cent despite strengthening comparatives in the latter part of the year.

“Although there remains inherent uncertainty in the operating environment as the UK and the world at large continues to navigate the pandemic, the results we have announced today show we have made an encouraging start against our 2025 ambitions."

He added: “Growth in new business and funds under management has resulted in strong growth in income whilst 'controllable' expenses for the six months are modestly lower than in the first half of 2020 reflecting the phasing of our planned cost growth towards the second half of the year. 

“The combination of the income and expense outcomes has resulted in a strong financial result, with the underlying cash result of £189.3m, up strongly on the prior period."

In the first quarter of 2021, SJP saw assets reach £135bn after receiving to net flows of £2.9bn, up 22 per cent on the same period in the previous year.

This came after inflows and profits at SJP suffered during 2020 after considerable market turbulence and business disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SJP had set out three goals at the time of the full year 2020 results announcement: to grow new business by 10 per cent per annum supported by a growing number of advisers, to maintain strong retention of client investments, and to continue to invest in the business to support growth while keeping its 'controllable' expense growth around 5 per cent per annum.

Meanwhile SJP has seen 71 advisers graduate from its academy programmes in 2021 to date, with 277 'students' being enrolled. 

The advice firm said it is now represented by 4,477 qualified advisers across the partnership, an increase of 139 year to-date. 

Croft said: “During the first half we added a net 139 advisers through resuming activity in both experienced adviser recruitment and academy graduation.

"Having grown the partnership by 3.2 per during the first half, we are well positioned to support even more clients with their long-term financial planning goals going forward.”

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