InvestmentsFeb 15 2023

SJP advisers owe company average of £111k each

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SJP advisers owe company average of £111k each
ByDavid Thorpe

The average St James's Place adviser owes the company £111,000, a practice it says is normal.

The £111,000 figure is obtained from examining SJP's most recent set of accounts, which reveals total loans outstanding to partners of £521mn, an increase of £49.9mn on the previous year.

The loans are split into two segments, with “business loans to partners directly funded by the group” accounting for £307mn of the total, and the remainder described as “securitised business loans to partners” which totalled £214mn.

The company's own website states there are 4,693 advisers within its network, and so dividing that figure by the total debt gets the £111,000 average figure.

A spokesperson for the company said: “St James’s Place has been engaged in business lending activity with its partnership since the group was established more than 30 years ago.

"It forms an important part of succession planning across the group and underpins the ongoing commitment we have to service the needs of our clients over the long-term.”

In the accounts, SJP lists the debts among its assets.

The company states: “Facilitating business loans to partners is a key way in which we are able to support growing partner businesses.

"Such loans are principally used to enable partners to take over the businesses of retiring or downsizing partners, and this process creates broad stakeholder benefits."

It added: "First, clients benefit from enhanced continuity of St. James’s Place advice and service over time; second, partners are able to build and ultimately realise value in the high-quality and sustainable businesses they have created; and finally, the group and, in turn, shareholders, benefit from high levels of adviser and client retention."

SJP said there was a "strong business case" for facilitating such lending.

"Over more than 10 years, cumulative write-offs have totalled less than 5bps of gross loans advanced, with such low impairment experience attributable to a number of factors that help to mitigate the inherent credit risk in lending," the company said.

"These include taking a cautious approach to group credit decisions, with lending secured against prudent business valuations.”

The average loan-to-value of the portfolio is 29 per cent, implying they value the amount of loan issued at 29 per cent of the value of the business being acquired by the adviser. 

In terms of how the loan repayments are structured, the company said: “Our credit experience also benefits from the structure of business loan to partner repayments. The group collects advice charges from clients.

"Prior to making the associated payment to partners, we deduct loan capital and interest payments from the amount due. This means the group is able to control repayments.”