WH Ireland brands 2016 the toughest year since crisis

WH Ireland brands 2016 the toughest year since crisis

Stockbroking firm WH Ireland has stated rising costs have made this year the toughest since the financial crisis of 2008, but the group has seen a huge improvement in new business prospects.

The board of WH Ireland has said the year has been marked by rising costs, largely associated with regulation, as well as transaction-driven revenue pressure.

Despite this, WH Ireland has continued to invest in the business, and is on track to move to a new private client operating platform during the second quarter of next year. 

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The wealth management firm said the majority of exceptional costs associated with this change will be taken in 2016, and will be fully disclosed within the annual results.

The firm said: “The focus upon fees in the wealth management division continues and assets under management and administration have increased during 2016 to approximately £3bn.”

In the first half of this year, the corporate broking arm witnessed a sharp decline in transaction revenues.

WH Ireland had continued to see profits fall in the first half of this year, reporting a pre-tax loss of £1.8m for the six months ending 31 May.

However, WH Ireland said the second half has seen a strong rebound in client activity, adding: “The pipeline of future new business has improved significantly.”

“During the period both new and existing shareholders demonstrated a continuing confidence in our business model, subscribing through two share placings.”

 “Overall, we believe the better market environment experienced during the second half of the year bodes well for 2017 and with the benefits of the investment programme beginning to be felt by mid-2017, the Board remains cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.”

The company’s full year results for the year ending 30 November will be released on or around 27 February.