St James’s Place sees assets rise despite shift in pension tax policy

Michael Bow
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NEW PENSIONS business at wealth manager St James’s Place (SJP) fell last quarter amid looming government changes to pension tax policy.

Sales fell four per cent versus a year ago on the back of changes proposed by chancellor George Osborne to reduce the limit on how much well-heeled savers can put into a pension pot from £50,000 to £40,000 a year.

But the fall masked much stronger saving levels overall by SJP customers for the quarter. Sales of investment products, which include ISAs, unit trusts and bonds, soared by 50 per cent, as people moved their savings into more tax efficient products. This helped drive overall sales across its three types of products – pensions, investments and protection – up nearly a quarter.

The strong quarter helped the FTSE 250 listed business, which was co-founded by Lord Rothschild in 1991, boost assets under management a record £42bn. Overall total new business sales rose to £203.9m, split 60 per cent investment sales, 37 per cent pensions and three per cent protection products.