Brewin Dolphin profits up 10.7% in year of 'disciplined implementation'

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Brewin Dolphin profits up 10.7% in year of 'disciplined implementation'

Brewin Dolphin has reported strong growth and an increase in total funds and profits in the 12 months to 30 September, during which it put into action a number of initiatives announced in the previous year.

In its annual results release this morning (28 November), the group revealed its total funds had increased by 6.7% to £42.8bn during the period, while its discretionary funds were up by 11.2% to £37.6bn.

Net discretionary fund inflows matched the amount in the previous year, at £2.3bn, though the annualised growth rate was slightly down from 2017 at 6.8% (compared to 8%).

The group said this leaves it on track to achieve the plan it announced in 2015 to increase discretionary funds by one third from net new funds alone by 2020.

Total income for the financial year was £329m, up from £304.5m in 2017, and adjusted profit before tax was up 10.7% from £70m to £77.5m. The group said its "disciplined and efficient approach" to initiatives it outlined in 2017 was reflected in an improved adjusted profit before tax margin of 23.6%.

Meanwhile, the group also announced a full year dividend increase of 9.3% to 16.4p.

Chief executive, David Nicol, said: "This was primarily a year of disciplined implementation, when we put into action many of the initiatives announced in 2017 including the launch of '1762 from Brewin Dolphin', our advice-led proposition for clients with more sophisticated and complex needs, and WealthPilot, our new low-cost simplified wealth planning and investment advice service.

"We focused on improving efficiency largely through investing in upgraded technology and streamlining services. By focusing on growth, innovation and efficiency we were able to take advantage of market opportunities surrounding the growing need for advice."

During the year, Brewin Dolphin also expanded its headcount by 85, with "incremental hires at all levels to help make and sustain the improvements in infrastructure, systems and processes that are necessary to provide a solid platform for growth".

This includes the appointment of Siobhan Boylan, who will join the group as finance director in 2019. She previously held senior roles at LGIM and Aviva.

Meanwhile, the group said it has withdrawn its advisory dealing service (with the exception of Jersey office clients) and is revising the pricing of its advisory managed service to reflect the higher cost of provision following recent regulatory changes.

Nicol's added: "This has resulted in substantial advisory funds transferring into other services within the group, including £900m of transfers from the advisory managed service to direct discretionary.

"The transfer of advisory funds is already proving to be a driver of efficiency and value thanks to the enhanced cost-efficiencies involved in the move. We will continue to service all remaining advisory managed clients where it is a suitable service for them and they do not wish to change services. Currently, such clients represent only 2.3% of the total value of our funds."