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SJP profits soar by a third

SJP profits soar by a third

St James's Place has seen its profits for 2017 increase by nearly a third to £186m after seeing record inflows.

The FTSE 100 financial advice firm saw record gross inflows of £14.6bn, taking its total funds under management to £90.7bn.

Net inflows were up 40 per cent to £9.5bn.

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Andrew Croft, SJP's chief executive, said: "I believe there are great opportunities ahead for St James's Place.

"Our core target market is already large and forecast to grow further still, driven by favourable demographic trends and the accumulation of investable assets as savers take on the responsibility for providing for their own well-being in retirement.

"Meanwhile, the environment for UK savers seeking to plan their long-term financial affairs has rarely felt more difficult whether due to complexities around personal taxation, pensions freedoms, or the implications of a sustained low interest rate environment.

"As a result, demand for trusted, personal face-to-face advice has never been greater. With our focus on developing long-term relationships that span client generations, our advisers can provide a level of tailored and expert advice that clients truly value."

Mr Croft said SJP's focus on the "best possible outcomes" for its clients, combined with its "distinctive approach" to wealth management meant it would be able to grow the business by up to 20 per cent in the next few years.

SJP now has 3,661 advisers and it has said it wants to develop the infrastructure and support it provides to them in order to become the "go to place for successful financial advisers".

The company said the "principal source" of its income was the fees it charges on funds under management and during 2017 it received £1.77bn from this - and increase of around £75m on the previous year.

Expenses increased by around £80m to £450m, with the costs of running SJP's infrastructure higher than expected because of "strong business growth".

SJP also spent increased levels of money expanding its operation in Asia and on investing in its discretionary fund management business Rowan Dartington, with both expenses forecast to continue into 2018.

Last year St James's Place secured the top spot for a fourth year running in Financial Adviser's Top 100 Financial Advisers list.

The list recognises successful financial advisory practices across the UK as indicated by gross sales of investment and pension products in the 12 months to 30 June 2017.

damian.fantato@ft.com