St James's Place  

SJP expands into Ireland

SJP expands into Ireland

St James's Place will expand its discretionary fund management service into Ireland by buying an Irish investment firm.

The deal to buy Harvest Financial Services - for an undisclosed sum - will continue SJP's expansion across the globe, with its DFM services already available in the UK and Hong Kong through its subsidiary Rowan Dartington.

Graham Coxell, executive chairman of Rowan Dartington, said: "This acquisition supports St James's Place Group's strategic growth plans of continuing to invest and extend Rowan Dartington's proven DFM capabilities.

"With our ability to build locally orientated investment solutions, we are well placed to extend our offering into the Republic of Ireland. 

"As a marketplace, Ireland shares many of the same characteristics as the UK, while Harvest has an established track record of providing high quality financial and investment advice and pension services to clients there.

"The firm shares many of our values and we look forward to working closely together to provide leading investment management services to Irish clients, helping them to achieve their financial objectives."

Rowan Dartington has grown its funds under management to more than £2.3bn since being bought by St James's Place in 2016.

Harvest Financial Services, which was founded in 1993, provides more than 1,500 clients with investment advice and financial planning and has assets of around €1bn (£857m).

Gerry Devitt, Harvest's chief executive, said: "This deal is testament to the hard work of all Harvest staff and we are extremely excited that St James's Place is bringing its market leading proposition and expertise to the Republic of Ireland. 

"With so many complex financial decisions to make during our lifetimes, the need for professional and quality financial and investment management has never been greater.

"Helping people to achieve long-term financial security through the provision of retirement planning, financial planning and investment management was our goal when we started out over 25 years ago.

"With the backing of St. James's Place and Rowan Dartington's DFM services, we feel we can take this vision to a whole new level to go from strength-to-strength in providing a best in class service."

Yesterday SJP reported an increase in profits for 2018 despite "challenging" markets, with funds under management reaching £95.6bn by the end of the year.

damian.fantato@ft.com