Brooks Macdonald Asset Management  

Brooks pledges to transform adviser experience

Brooks pledges to transform adviser experience
 Caroline Connellan, chief executive of Brooks Macdonald

Brooks Macdonald has pledged to transform the adviser experience in the next stage of its strategy as it looks to upgrade its digital offering.

In its full year results, published today (September 17), chief executive Caroline Connellan said it was pivoting from a focus on “preserving value” towards “value creation” and as part of this, was aiming to become the “leading investment manager for intermediaries”.

She added: “To enable this, a core element of our strategy [...] is to transform our adviser experience and client service levels to be best in class.

“Our digital experience for advisers and clients - complementing our face-to-face relationships - will be market-leading.”

The new digital experience will include automated onboarding, full adviser and client portal functionality and bespoke reporting.

Ms Connellan said it was working with a “leading wealth management technology and services” company to deliver the transformation.

Brooks pledged to work with its adviser network during the process to ensure it understood “what they need” from the discretionary fund manager.

Overstated income

Elsewhere, the results showed Brooks Macdonald had overstated the income derived from its managed portfolio service to tune of £700,000.

Brooks has been undergoing a review of its MPS with a view to seeking a ruling from HM Revenue & Customssd that its MPS is not subject to VAT, after the taxman ruled its rival Tatton’s equivalent service was exempt from the tax.

During the review, the DFM found the fees received on MPS offered through third party platforms were in part not correctly accounted for and historically treated as exempt from VAT.

It said: “As a result, income derived from this service was overstated, the VAT liability arising on the fees collected was understated and consequently the group has under-recovered its entitlement to input VAT credit.”

Brooks has now adjusted the income from its MPS in its 2017 and 2018 results by £400,000 and its 2019 figures by £300,000.

Financials

Brooks’ results, covering the year to June 2020, showed its funds under management had increased 4 per cent year-on-year to £13.7bn, partly due to its acquisitions of Cornelian and Lloyds’ offshore wealth arm.

The acquisitions brought £1.2bn of funds to the group, outweighing the £775m of outflows Brooks saw in the year to June.

Its revenue jumped nearly 3 per cent to £109m while its underlying profit before tax also increased from £20.7m last year to £23m.

Investment wise, the group said it had “strong overall performance”. Its portfolios returned 1 per cent over the year to June, which it said was well ahead of the MSCI Pimfa Private Investor Balanced Index which declined 3.5 per cent over the same period.

Brooks faced an 83 per cent increase in its costs towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, up from £1.1m to £2.2m. 

It said: “The FSCS levy is becoming an ever more prominent cost driver across the sector and at such levels is not considered directly commensurate to the Group's regulated activities.