British wealth manager St. James’s Place (SJP) has reported total funds under management (FuM) of £117bn ($153bn) as of 31 December 2019, a 22% jump from a year ago.
This was driven by net inflows of £2.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2019, down from net inflows of £2.6bn in Q4 2018.
Net inflows in the year were £9bn, versus £10.3bn in 2018.
Gross inflows in Q4 2019 rose to £3.98bn from £3.95bn a year earlier. For the entire year, gross inflows were £15.1bn – a 4% decrease from 2018.
The firm’s adviser headcount reached 4,271 at the end of December 2019, up 8% from 3,954 last year.
The growth was the result of recruitment and academy programmes.
SJP CEO Andrew Croft said: “Our advisers continued to work hard in supporting clients through a difficult environment, resulting in strong retention of client investments throughout the year and again demonstrating the resilience of our business.
“This contributed to net inflows of £2.44 billion in the final quarter and £8.99 billion for the twelve months, equivalent to some 9% of opening funds under management. When combined with the impact of positive investment returns, this resulted in closing funds under management of a record £117.0 billion, up 22% since the beginning of the year.”
Croft also offered a positive outlook on the time ahead.
“Although uncertainties remain for the UK, the Parliamentary majority following the General Election in December provides for longer-term political stability. Following this outcome, we are encouraged to have seen improved investor sentiment and activity which, together with the strength and scale of our business today, gives us confidence that we are well placed to continue to grow,” he stated.
Notably, SJP scrapped its plan to buy Irish pensions and investment firm Harvest Financial Services earlier this month.