Wealth manager Brooks Macdonald reports growth despite "really terrible" period after Brexit vote

 
William Turvill
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016 (Source: Getty)

Wealth manager Brooks Macdonald today reported growth in funds under management (FUM), revenues and profits, despite a “really terrible” period after the EU referendum.

The figures

Discretionary FUM were £9.3bn at the end of 2016, up 19 per cent on 2015.

In the six months to 31 December, revenue came in at £45.3m, up 17 per cent on the same period in 2015.

Underlying pre-tax profits, meanwhile, were up 24 per cent to £8.9m, and the company increased its interim dividend from 12p to 15p.

Read more: Wealth manager Brooks Macdonald names new boss as assets rise 7.5 per cent

Shares in Brooks Macdonald, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim), rose slightly on the news and were up 1.4 per cent to 2,023p at the time of writing.

Brooks Macdonald Brooks Macdonald | mobile image

Why it’s interesting

Chris Macdonald, the firm’s chief executive who is due to stand down in April, told City A.M. that “bearing in mind the backdrop of really pretty terrible client sentiment, it actually turned out to be a pretty good period for us”. He said that “client volatility and sentiment... was all over the place”.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I don’t think I’ve seen a period where there was so much angst around,” he said. “The two weeks after Brexit, our new business figures were terrible. Really terrible.”

“Sentiment has recovered quite sharply and I think what we’ve seen in 2017, I think most people felt pleased 2016 was out of the way. And as we’ve moved into 2017 client sentiment has almost done the reverse of what it did in July, which is to pick up quite strongly.”

Macdonald is to be replaced by Caroline Connellan, formerly HSBC's head of UK premier and wealth, in April.

Read more: Wealth manager reports growth in "uncertain markets"

What the company said

Chairman Chris Knight said:

Chris Macdonald will retire as chief executive on 10 April. The principal architect of the group's success, he has led the business with vigour, with determination and with vision for 25 years and all our stakeholders have reason to thank him.

Although he will no longer be an executive director he will remain on the board as deputy chairman, in which role I know that he will continue to provide help and encouragement to the business.

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