Demand from the wealthy pushes St James's Place funds under management to record high

Lucy White
Investors ploughed £6.9bn into St James's place over the first half (Source: Getty)

Wealth manager St James's Place exceeded expectations for the six months to June 2017, as its funds under management hit the record amount of £83bn.

Investors looking to escape low interest rates piled £6.9bn into the manager over the first half, equalling a net inflow of £4.3bn.

Read more: FTSE 100 wealth manager St James's Place records almost £2bn net inflow for first quarter

It also announced a dividend beyond analysts' consensus of 15.41p per share, a 25 per cent increase.

“Setting aside the political and macro-economic backdrop, the challenges and responsibilities that individuals face when considering how to manage their wealth remain,” said chief executive David Bellamy.

“The implications of sustained low interest rates, longer life expectancy, enhanced pension freedoms and greater emphasis on individual financial responsibility all highlight the continued need for and importance of sound, personal and trusted advice.”

Read more: Wealth manager St James's Place reports strong end to 2016, despite political surprises

St James's Place also made an operating profit of £397.3m, up from £284m in the same period last year, and a post-tax underlying cash profit of £123.1m, up from £94.4m.

“This is a wonderful set of results, incorporating as it does further investment in the business,” said analyst Eamonn Flanagan of Shore Capital, which reiterated its “buy” recommendation.

The share price closed up 0.59 per cent at 1,227.2p.

The firm has announced it will launch a new Global Growth fund, to be managed by four managers already on the firm's roster including Sands Capital, Edgepoint, Magellan and Select Equity Group, which will have will have a growth bias, exposure to cyclical sectors and be overweight in small and mid-cap holdings.

However, there is change ahead for the wealth manager as Bellamy is due to step down after 26 years at the business.

Andrew Croft, who has been chief financial officer since 2004, will replace Bellamy.

Read more: Metro Bank has agreed to offer cash accounts to clients of St James's Place

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