St James’s Place said it had seen strong inflows of new client cash during its third quarter as it hit £100bn of assets under management for the first time despite market volatility.
SJP, which provides face-to-face advice on investments, pensions and tax, said demand for financial advice remained strong, notwithstanding the current macro and geo-political uncertainty and that it remained confident in its ability to grow the business in line with its medium-term objectives.
Total funds under management rose to £100.6bn, buoyed by net inflows of £2.5bn and investment gains of £1.5bn, although growth in gross flows into its investment and tax-free savings products slowed from the prior quarter.
“We have delivered this continued growth despite both tough comparatives and a more challenging environment for the industry, once again demonstrating our resilience in these market conditions,” said chief executive Andrew Croft.
“There remains growing demand for high-quality financial advice, notwithstanding the current macro and geo-political uncertainty. Consequently, we remain confident in our ability to grow our business in line with our stated objectives over the medium-term,” Croft added.
North American equities were the most popular area with clients putting £21.8bn into the sector, up from £18.8bn a year ago and representing 22% of total allocations. Fixed interest was also popular with £19.5bn invested, up from £15bn a year ago.
Allocations to UK equities fell from £19.2bn to £18.7bn over the 12 months.
However, analysts cautioned that the pace of growth had slowed compared to the first half of the year, which had knocked the financial services firm’s shares in early trade.
“Looking at the gross flows into the business, third quarter growth of 7% is significantly down on the 15% growth seen at the half year stage. It is worth noting, however, that this is on the back of a very strong comparator that was up 28%,” Shore Capital analysts said in a note to clients.