The board of Mattioli Woods is proposing a final dividend of 13.5p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year ended May 31 to 21p.
In an AGM statement to the stock exchange this morning (October 29), outgoing chairwoman Joanne Lake said the firm was committed to growing its dividend payments “in a responsible manner”.
The proposed payouts will represent a 5 per cent rise on the previous year when the firm paid a total dividend of 20p per share. Last year's final dividend was 12.7p per share.
The firm has also reinstated bonus payments for staff after what Lake called a "particularly significant period in the group's development".
She said: "We recognise and appreciate the huge effort made by our people over this period and their contribution to delivering these results.
"In line with our desire to balance the interests of all stakeholders, we have recently paid year-end bonuses in respect of the financial year ended 31 May 2021 to all staff having taken the cautious decision not to pay year-end bonuses for the prior period."
She added savings and investments were becoming more complicated, and regulatory requirements continued to increase, meaning clients needed long-term advice and strategies “more than ever before”.
“We remain positive about the group’s growth prospects given our resilient operating model.”
Lake will leave the firm by the end of January at the latest, after five years in the role and nine years on the board. She will be replaced by former BNP Paribas boss David Kiddie, subject to regulatory approval.
During the pandemic, Mattioli Woods’ board members reduced their base salary by half, and the firm’s chief executive Ian Mattioli forewent his entire basic salary until the end of June. The firm’s employees’ salaries were not affected.
The group reported a 60 per cent cut in profits before tax in the year to May, at £5.1m, down from £12.7m in 2020.
This was on a 7 per cent revenue hike, to £62.6m from £58.4m last year.
The group raised £112m between May and June this year through a share issue, in order to allow it to complete a number of acquisitions.
In the year to the end of May it made five acquisitions and continued its acquisitions spree in the months after, with the purchase of Ludlow Wealth Management completing on September 6.
The £43.5m Ludlow acquisition was announced back in May, alongside Mattioli Woods’ plans to purchase Maven Capital Partners.
Lake said: "We have a track record of integrating acquired businesses into the group, and are pleased by the progress that has been made with each of the acquisitions completed in or immediately after the year end 31 May 2021.
"This combined with financial performance of the acquired businesses in line with expectations further supports the strategic and financial rationale that we will continue to build upon."