Companies 

Specialist adviser looks to broaden market reach

Specialist adviser looks to broaden market reach

Specialist financial advice business Frenkel Topping is exploring a "number of opportunities" to widen its reach in the market.

The advice company, which specialises in asset protection for vulnerable clients, reported a 33 per cent increase in "expert witness" new business in its annual results published in April

Expert witness business comes through recommendations from lawyers and other trust professionals and sees advisers attend court cases to advise on the compensation level the victim should be awarded.

The results also showed a 3.6 per cent increase in assets under management for the business, growing to £779m, but assets in the discretionary fund management business fell slightly to £302m from the previous £303m.  

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting today (May 30) chief executive Richard Fraser is expected to praise Frenkel Topping for starting the year with "good momentum" built on a "solid performance" in 2018. 

Mr Fraser will say: "We have a well-defined five-year strategy which is centred on creating excellence in everything we do to maintain our high client retention rate and our position as the UK's market leading asset manager for personal injury and clinical negligence awards. 

"The company is exploring a number of opportunities to widen its market reach and further develop the Obiter brand, in addition to creating new socially responsible investment portfolios within Ascencia." 

In its April results Frenkel Topping reported profits of £7.7m, up from £7.3m the previous year, but with profits in the first half of the year hit by an investment of £700,000 in IT, marketing and the company's adviser academy. 

In his statement to the AGM today, Mr Fraser is expected to address these "significant" investments as necessary to "grow and protect the business in a challenging market environment."

In July 2018 Frenkel Topping issued a profit warning in light of its increased marketing expenditure, amid changes in the marketplace primarily concerning the discount rate used to calculate compensation awards for serious personal injuries which has pushed court damages up. 

rachel.addison@ft.com