British wealth manager St James’s Place (SJP) has agreed to purchase Harvest Financial Services, a pensions and investment firm based in Dublin.

Harvest has a client base of 1,500 and employee strength of over 50. The business, founded in 1993, has nearly €1bn in assets under administration and advice.

Through the acquisition, SJP intends to strengthen its discretionary fund management (DFM) proposition.

Currently, SJP offers DFM services in the UK and Hong Kong through its subsidiary Rowan Dartington, which it snapped up three years ago.

Rowan Dartington reported funds under management of over £2.3bn at the end of December 2018.

The transaction, whose financial terms were not divulged, is pending regulatory approval.

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Rowan Dartington executive chairman Graham Coxell said: “As a marketplace, Ireland shares many of the same characteristics as the UK, while Harvest has an established track record of providing high quality financial and investment advice and pension services to clients there.

“The firm shares many of our values and we look forward to working closely together to provide leading investment management services to Irish clients, helping them to achieve their financial objectives.”

St James’s Place reports 2018 results

The latest deal coincides with SJP’s announcement of 2018 earnings.

For the 12 months to December 2018, the firm’s operating profit on a European embedded value (EEV) basis stood at £1bn. This marks a rise of 9% from £918.5m last year.

EEV new business profit increased to £852.7m from £779.8m.

The firm’s IFRS profit before shareholder tax increased 14% year-on-year to £211.9m.

Underlying cash result was £309m, a 10% rise from £281.2m in 2017.

As of 31 December 2018, SJP’s funds under management totalled £95.6bn.

SJP CEO Andrew Croft said: “I am pleased to report a good set of results for 2018, building on an exceptional outcome in 2017 and despite a difficult external environment in the last quarter of the year. This demonstrates once again the resilience of our business.”