St James’s Place ups its dividend as bulging share prices bolster wealth manager’s coffers
British wealth manager St James’s Place today posted record results, as bulging share prices saw the sums of money it manages grow by 19 per cent, to record heights of £154bn.
The firm, which was established by South African financier Mark Weinberg and British banker Mike Wilson in 1991, after the pair received backing from Lord Rothschild, said it achieved “record gross and net flows” last year, as “positive investment markets” boosted its coffers.
St James’s Place CEO Andrew Croft said: “In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, St. James’s Place demonstrated real resilience during very difficult circumstances, thanks largely to the agility of our advisers and employees.”
“Whilst 2021 was another extraordinary year, with society continuing to navigate lockdowns and disruptions caused by COVID-19, the roll-out of vaccination programmes saw many economies rebound strongly with investment markets recording positive returns.”
The wealth manager said it would up its dividend from 38.49 pence per share in 2020 to 40.41 pence per share for 2021 in line with St James’s policy of paying out 70 per cent of underlying cash to shareholders.
The decision to up its dividend will see St James’s Place pay its shareholders a final year dividend of 51.96 pence a share, up 35 per cent on the previous year.
Croft said he expects demand for face-to-face financial advice will remain “as strong as ever,” as he argued demand may even be boosted as people seek out advice, as they reassess their life plans and navigate the fallout of the pandemic.