St James’s Place reported another strong fourth quarter on Thursday, pushing new business for the full year to a record high.
The wealth management firm said net inflows in the three months to 31 December were £2.91bn, compared to £2.29bn a year previously, while gross inflows rose 17% to £4.69bn. Both figures were ahead of consensus.
Closing funds under management reached a record high of £153.99bn, up 19% on the end of 2020 and 4% on the end of the third quarter.
For the full year, total gross inflows surged 27% to £18.20bn, ahead of internal forecasts. Total net inflows were £11.04bn, representing 8.5% of opening funds under management.
Chief executive Andrew Croft said: “I am pleased to report a very strong final quarter, rounding out a record year of new business for St James’s Place. We saw a favourable market backdrop continue into the fourth quarter and this, together with the hard work of our advisors has enable us to attract £4.69bn of new client investments.”
The retention rate was also the strongest in the firm’s history.
“We remain confident in achieving our 2025 ambitions,” Croft added. St James’s Place wants to have more than £200bn under management by the end of 2025.
The wealth management sector has seen demand jump during the pandemic as successive lockdowns boosted savings while low interest rates helped inflows. The ongoing uncertainty has also driven demand for financial advice.
St James’s Place also announced on Thursday that the partnership’s managing director, Ian Gascoigne, would retire at the end of March after more than 30 years with the firm. “Since joining what was a start-up company in 1991, I am delighted to have played a small part in helping to build St James’s Place into the established FTSE 100 company it is today,” Gascoigne said.
As at 0830 GMT, shares in the blue chip were off 1% at 1,511.0p.