St James's Place  

SJP posts rise in fund flows amid demand for advice

SJP posts rise in fund flows amid demand for advice
 

St James’s Place has posted a rise in fund flows in the year to December 31, saying it benefitted from the strong demand for face-to-face advice. 

The firm saw net inflows of funds under management rise to £11bn for the year, a 34 per cent rise, according to a statement to the stock exchange this morning (February 24).

Funds under management rose 19 per cent to £154bn at the end of the year.

The partnership’s advisers brought in £18.2bn of new client investments, a 27 per cent increase year-on-year. 

Andrew Croft, chief executive officer of SJP, said there is “no doubt” in his mind that the demand for face-to-face financial advice remains “as strong as ever” and that SJP is “ideally positioned” to benefit from this.

“In fact, as we emerge from the pandemic, I believe more people will be reassessing their life plans and be more likely to seek out a trusted adviser,” he added.

Last year, the group said it will aim to grow new business by 10 per cent per year, intending to pay out around 70 per cent of the underlying cash to shareholders through dividend payments.

For the year to December 31, the group reported 27 per cent growth inflows, compared to this target.

The firm will pay a final dividend of 40.41p per share, an increase of 38.39p per share. The group currently has underlying cash of £401mn, up from £265mn in 2020, pushing underlying cash basic earnings per share up by 50 per cent to 74.6p.

Profit before tax rose to £354mn from £328mn last year, absorbing the impact of a one-off £9.7mn cost of restructuring the firm, which included an employee redundancy programme. 

The firm also suffered a one-off cost of £4mn, due to additional guidance provided by the International Financial Reporting Standards' interpretations committee on the recognition of software configuration costs. 

Croft said: “We have a partnership that continues to grow in scale bolstered in part from our academy, a rigorous and well-proven investment management approach, modern and scalable infrastructure, and a unique culture and brand.  

“I believe this combination stands us apart from other advisory firms and means we are well placed to continue to lead in our sector with the benefits that confers.”

sally.hickey@ft.com