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Adviser numbers double at Brewin Dolphin

Adviser numbers double at Brewin Dolphin

The number of advisers in Brewin Dolphin's high net worth advice arm has more than doubled, as the wealth manager takes a profit hit to fuel its growth drive. 

In an update to the market today (November 27) the company announced its advice service 1762 had seen team numbers grow from 17 to 44 since launching to market last year. 

The wealth manager completed three acquisitions in the year to September resulting in an expected spend of £24.6m, of which the company said £12.7m had already been paid. 

Brewin Dolphin designed 1762 for clients with "more sophisticated and complex needs" and in today's update chief executive David Nicol said the service was "gaining traction". 

Employees in the company's wealth planning and advice service WealthPilot also ticked up from 12 to 15 and Brewin Dolphin confirmed the online platform for this service was set to launch in Spring 2020. 

Staff costs increased by £9.6m to £126.7m, reflecting the increased headcount in 1762 and the financial planning arm, the impact of acquisitions and salary inflation. 

Mr Nicol largely attributed increased revenues at the company, which jumped 3.1 per cent to £339m, to growth in its financial planning service and model portfolio service - with income from financial planning up by 12.2 per cent to £27.5m. 

He also nodded to the company's integrated wealth management service, which provides more than 50 per cent of new private client business at Brewin Dolphin. 

But this growth drive, alongside a number of acquisitions this year and £4m costs associated with the company's new premises at Waterloo Place, has dealt a blow to profits. 

Pre-tax profits dropped by 8.6 per cent to £62.2m in the year to September, which Mr Nicol said reflected increased investment and one-off items.

Mr Nicol said: "This year has seen economic uncertainty resulting in subdued client activity; however, the performance of the business has held up very well.

"We have delivered organic net discretionary funds growth of 3.7 per cent, bringing our total funds to £45bn and we remain on track to meet our target to grow new discretionary funds organically by a third by the end of FY 2020.

"We have continued to invest in our business in a careful and disciplined way. The expected increase in costs has been into growth initiatives and infrastructure projects which will lay the foundations for future growth.

"The infrastructure projects will be delivered over the next twelve to eighteen months."

Mr Nicol said the company's strategy of focusing on its advice-led wealth management service was continuing to "deliver results".

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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