Wealth manager Quilter has registered an attributable loss before tax from continuing operations of £53m ($67.5m) in 2019, versus a profit of £41m in 2018.

The firm attributed the performance to a higher policyholder tax charge owing to a rise in market levels.

Highlights

Adjusted pre-tax profit, excluding Quilter Life Assurance (QLA), increased 3% to £182m from £176m over the period.

Assets under Management/Administration reached £110.4bn at the end of December 2019, a 13% rise from £97.7bn in the previous year.

Net Client Cash Flow dropped to £300m from £4.7bn, while integrated net flows dipped to £2.6bn from £4.7bn.

Quilter CEO Paul Feeney said: “Our optimisation plans remain on track and our advice acquisitions will contribute to flows in the coming years. Quilter Investors is now a highly scalable business with a broader range of solutions to meet client needs.

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“Quilter International delivered strong performance in 2019 supported by a focus on cost containment to offset revenue pressures.”

The firm also warned of difficulties in the current year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

“2020 began well but the sharp Coronavirus induced market correction beginning in late February has created a level of uncertainty as to the outlook for the remainder of 2020.

“It is currently too early to ascertain what impact market volatility will have on investor sentiment, NCCF and the consequential impact this may have on revenues and profitability.”

Share buyback programme

Quilter offloaded QLA to ReAssure Group for £445m earlier this year.

The firm considers £375m to be excess capital from the deal, which will be returned to shareholders.

In line with this objective, Quilter has launched a share repurchase programme.

Directorate changes

Directors Cathy Turner and Suresh Kana will step down from the board.

Quilter has recruited an external search agency to find replacements for the duo.