SchrodersJul 29 2021

Schroders appoints chairwoman as AUM hits £700bn

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Schroders appoints chairwoman as AUM hits £700bn

Dame Elizabeth Corley is to join Schroders’ board as a non-executive director and chairwoman designate.

Corley, who was chief executive of Allianz Global Investors from 2005 to 2016, has previously worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and Coopers & Lybrand where she was a consulting partner.

She is currently a non-executive director of BAE Systems, and will step down from non-executive director roles at Pearson and Morgan Stanley before starting as chair at Schroders. She was awarded a DBE in June 2019 for services to the economy and financial services.

Corley will succeed Michael Dobson as chairman of the board in April next year.

Ian King, Schroders' senior independent director, who led the appointment process, said: "Elizabeth is an outstanding candidate for the chair role and was the unanimous choice of the nominations committee and her proposed appointment is warmly endorsed by the entire board. I believe Elizabeth will prove to be a very effective chair of the company and the board and I look forward to working with her.

Corley added: "Schroders is a business I have long admired. It has an ambitious strategy to create sustainable value for all stakeholders and I am delighted to have been asked to serve as chair. I look forward to joining the board at a very exciting time for the business.”

The news comes amid a rise in assets under management for the firm, driven by strong demand for its mutual funds.

The group’s AUM rose 6 per cent in the six months to June 30, reaching £700bn.

The firm’s wealth management division ended the period at £76.3bn, with new business of £1bn, of which £0.6bn was from Schroders Wealth clients, and £0.2bn was through Benchmark Capital, a firm Schroders took over in 2018.

Net income in the division increased 15 per cent to £214.9m, and pre-tax profits were up 10 per cent at £66.5m.

In asset management net inflows for mutual funds rose to £6.4bn compared with net outflows of £4.8bn in the same period last year.

Schroders said demand was particularly high for its thematic equity products from continental Europe.

AUM for mutual funds rose 10 per cent in the period, reaching £114.8bn.

Thematic investing has begun to gain traction in the past year, with research conducted for Axa IM by Broadridge finding that nine in 10 European fund selectors now invest thematically.

Data from FTAdviser’s sister title Asset Allocator showed more than 70 per cent of active model portfolio ranges run by wealth managers now have exposure to one or more thematic funds, up from 50 per cent at the start of 2020.

However £400m was pulled from Schroders' alternatives funds and the same amount redeemed from the solutions business, which Schroders said was driven by the “expected run-off” from the Scottish Widows mandates.

In 2018, Lloyds and Schroders announced a strategic partnership which saw Schroders take over as manager of £80bn of Scottish Widows assets as the two companies joined forces to launch advice business Schroders Personal Wealth.

The overall group saw a 33 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to £373.9m, with basic earnings per share increasing 37 per cent to 107.7p.

Peter Harrison, group chief executive, said: “The business performed strongly during the first half of the year, delivering a 33 per cent increase in profits. These results reflect the benefit of our organic growth initiatives, strong investment performance and our leadership position in sustainability.

“Markets have benefitted from a combination of low interest rates, quantitative easing and a belief that inflationary pressures are transitory. If these pressures persist, or indeed the recovery in economic growth disappoints, we would expect increased market volatility. We are confident our business will continue to generate value for our clients, shareholders and wider stakeholders.”