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SJP reveals how it will invest to expand business

SJP reveals how it will invest to expand business

FTSE 100 advice firm St James’s Place will invest further in its discretionary management arm to expand it beyond its current reach.

In SJP's latest annual accounts the firm's chief executive, Andrew Croft, said he believes the company’s discretionary fund management (DFM) business will be one of the two significant areas of long-term growth for the firm.

Mr Croft said the company would continue to invest in the DFM business it owns, Rowan Dartington, as well as the Asian advice business of the firm, which employed 120 advisers at the end of 2017.

The Rowan Dartington discretionary fund management business had client assets of £2.1bn at the end of 2017, and to £2.3bn at the end of June 2018.

SJP bought Rowan Dartington in 2016. The company said since the acquisition the assets under management of Rowan Dartington have doubled.

The company believes the growth of the business will come from expansion beyond Rowan Dartington’s traditional focus on the south west of England.

SJP said it does not expect either Rowan Dartington, or its fledgling operation in Asia, to have a "material" impact on the revenues or profits of the wider group for some time, but Mr Croft said the investment being made is for "longer-term growth".

In the latest trading update for the first six months of 2018, published last week (1 August), St James’s Place revealed the total assets managed by the company rose by 6 per cent, with net inflows growing 21 per cent.

The company also announced it is to launch a Diversified Assets Fund, which will invest in both quoted and unquoted businesses.

Paul Stocks, financial services director at Dobson and Hodge in Doncaster, said: "We still build portfolios based on the client’s needs and objectives as we feel this is in the client’s best interest even if it means there is more time spent on it by us.

"At the core may be some MPS/multi asset type approaches but these will be blended in based on portfolio ATR needs and client specifics."

He added: "With regard to select lists we’re often concerned that they start with a restricted universe.

"We often have funds which have delivered long term returns for our clients but perhaps don’t appear on ‘buy lists’ – maybe they are too small, maybe they aren’t rated by the agency in question. As such, whilst we use buy lists to some extent to verify our own research, we pay for Financial Express to enable us to screen and sift and sort funds based on features as a starting point."

david.thorpe@ft.com