Wealthy savers help trio of UK firms to prosper

Michael Bow
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THE BULL market for UK wealth management firms showed no signs of slowing yesterday after three firms reported an increase in money managed for their wealthy customers.

Rathbone Brothers, which started life nearly 275 year ago as a timber business, said funds under management grew by 8.6 per cent in the six months ending June to nearly £24bn.

Revenues rose more than 13 per cent to £98.1m, leading pre-tax profits up to £29.6m for the period.

Part of Rathbone’s success in the period lay in its acquisition of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Manage­ment’s London-based wealth team, which added £617m of cash to the company’s assets.

Separately, the group said it would pay £15m to settle long running legal action related to a subsidiary in Jersey, which was likely to eat into a £23.9m war chest it raised in April for more takeovers.

Rival wealth manager Close Broth­ers Group, which is a mere 236 years old, also prospered from the mini-boom in wealth management.

It grew assets under management by four per cent for the five months ending June, up to £9.7bn.

The group also offers loans through its banking arm and trading services at its Winterflood division, which both performed well over the period.

The loan book in its banking division rose eight per cent to £5.2bn over the five months as it reaps the continuing retrenchment of traditional lenders such as high street banks.

Winterflood’s volumes were “stron­ger”, it added, despite more trad­ing in lower margin stocks.

Elsewhere, Brooks Macdonald said funds under management had risen by 28 per cent to £6.55bn for the year ending June.

“We have continued to see strong growth in our funds under management during the year,” boss Chris Macdonald said. “We look forward to making further progress.”