St. James’s Place (SJP) has revealed “record” results for the first quarter of 2021, registering total funds under management of £135.6bn ($189.17bn), representing a 5% increase from the previous year’s total of £101.67bn.

Across the three months ending 31 March 2021, the British wealth management group recorded gross inflows of £4.79bn, up from £4.04bn in 2020.

According to chief executive, Andrew Croft, moderate growth in new business across the early weeks of 2021 continued to gain momentum through the quarter as confidence improved and clients sought to commit accumulated savings to longer-term investments.

This, combined with strong activity linked to tax yearend planning, resulted in “exceptional” new business performance in March, boosting quarterly gross inflows by 19% when compared with 2020.

Representing 9% of opening funds under management on an annualised basis, net inflows also increased from £2.37bn in 2020 to £2.90bn this year, attributed to strong retention of client investments.

According to the results, the funds under management retention rate finished at 95.8%, a 0.4% increase year-on-year.

Croft commented: “These results demonstrate once again the unerring commitment of the Partnership and our entire community to ensuring clients receive the highest quality advice and service.

Across 2020, SJP registered a 10.5% increase in funds under management to £129.3bn ($183.2bn), with net inflows to such funds at £8.2bn.

Facing disruption from lockdowns and social distancing, operations, and performance at SJP were both hampered, evidenced by a 5.3% reduction in gross inflows to £14.3bn, when compared with 2019.

Describing 2020 as an “extraordinary year”, Croft said he was “very pleased” with both new business and financial results for 2020.

Looking forward to the remainder of the year, Croft concluded: “Although COVID-19 restrictions and economic uncertainty continue, the demand for trusted advice is stronger than ever and I am confident that, given the quality of the Partnership and the strength of our client proposition, we are well placed to deliver another good year for St. James’s Place.”