St James’s Place Wealth Management saw gross inflows hit £4.02bn ($5.5bn) across Q4 2020, representing a 1% increase against the same period in 2019.
Thanks to a series of “robust” business results, the firm’s gross inflows for the year – at £14.33bn – are only 5% lower than 2019.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Andrew Croft, chief executive, believes the result “bears testament to the resilience of our business and the determination of our entire community to support clients and each other through the global pandemic”.
Croft commented: “We continued to achieve strong retention of client investments in spite of the unprecedented external conditions, resulting in net inflows of £8.25bn, representing 7% of opening funds under management.
According to the firm’s latest results on new business inflows and funds under management for the period ending 31 December, net inflows for the quarter totalled £2.29bn whilst closing funds under management reached £129.34bn.
Croft continued: “This net investment, together with positive investment returns experienced by our clients, provided for year end funds under management of a record £129.34bn, up 11% over the year.”
The firm reportedly decided to slow the pace of experienced adviser recruitment activity in response to the “challenging external environment” for financial advice businesses. Intake of new students to the Academy programme was also halted.
Despite this, the firm registered a 1.57% increase in qualified advisors at close. Croft adds: “continued strong adviser retention coupled with modest recruitment resulted in net adviser growth to 4,338 advisers.”
Alluding to the persistent uncertainty and lockdown restrictions from Covid-19, Croft believes the operating environment will continue to be challenging.
He concluded: “The quality of the Partnership and the strength of our client proposition, together with the resilience of the St. James’s Place community, underpins our confidence in the medium to long-term growth prospects of our business.”