St James’s Place growth beats expectations

WEALTH manager St James’s Place yesterday posted another strong quarter of growth, with new business hitting £165.6m between June and September, up eight per cent on the same period last year.

Chief executive David Bellamy told City A.M. that “there’s a good feeling in the business right now” and growth could be even stronger in the final quarter.

He said clients were realising that the current stagnant economy is the “new normal”, prompting them to turn to experienced fund managers.

“People are recognising that growth objectives should be tempered and we offer better returns than leaving money on deposit in a bank or building society.”

“The tax burden is the same, interest rates are staying the same and clients need to put their money somewhere,” he explained.

The firm’s business is centred on its own network of in-house advisers, leaving it well-placed to benefit from January’s rule changes which will push up costs and ban most payments made to financial advisors.

As a result many advisors are exiting the business and fees are rising. The changes also present St James’s Place with an opportunity to snap up experienced workers to join their team.

Total funds under management hit £32.8bn, an increase of 15 per cent since the start of the year.

Shares in the business – which have risen by a quarter since May – yesterday closed up 4.6 per cent.