St. James’s Place International has announced the launch of its new Investment Plan (IIP) in Hong Kong, part of a series of planned launches in the region.
The IIP is an investment-linked assurance scheme through which clients can gain access to St. James’s Place’s Investment Management Approach.
The IIP is only available through members of the St. James’s Place Partnership who also provide advice on investment and tax planning for the medium to long term.
Mike Gravestock, partnership director – International for St. James’s Place, pictured left, said: “St. James’s Place has been built on the delivery of tailored, face to face advice. When looking to develop our client proposition, it made sense to consider where our approach and expertise would be best suited in providing clients with an effective financial planning strategy encompassing investment planning and tax planning, in addition to addressing clients’ protection needs.”
Gravestock called the roll out of the company’s Investment Management Approach through the International Investment Plan a “very positive step” for the company’s Hong Kong operation.
“The wealth management profession in Hong Kong continues to respond to market and regulatory change. In anticipating further growth of our Hong Kong business, we will look to use our experience to introduce additional enhancements to our client proposition during the course of 2017 and beyond,” said Gravestock.
Last month, as reported, in its group results, the company reported a £13.2m (US$16.4m) for it’s Asian business, a figure that had almost doubled in the year to 2016 to £13.2m, compared to £7m the previous year.
It also announced the move of David Bellamy, the long-standing chief executive at St James’s Place (SJP), to the role of non-executive chairman of the company’s new international operations. Bellamy has decided to step down from the board at the end of 2017 after 26 years as an executive, the last 11 of which he has served as chief executive, SJP said.
Overall, SJP said that its results reflect the “underlying strong business performance over the year, but pointed to a number of particular factors which have also impacted the results. These included Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) contributions, back office infrastructure investment costs rising and waiving exit charges at the minimum retirement age where they existed on some older pension contracts (written before July 1999); and reassessing risk charges on a reviewable protection contract.
A spokesperson for SJP added that despite the loss in its annual results, the company sees the money that it has spent in Asia as an investment a “commitment to the area that they will continue to invest in the business for the long term benefit.”
Bellamy’s shock move was announced via a statement by the company as it posted its annual results. Andrew Croft will succeed Bellamy as chief executive and Craig Gentle, currently chief risk officer, will join the board as chief financial officer. Both moves are subject to regulatory approval.