Quilter reports rise of 11% in profits despite first-year volatility

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Quilter reports rise of 11% in profits despite first-year volatility

Quilter, the international wealth manager, has reported an adjusted profit before tax for 2018 of £233m, up 11% on gross profits of £209m in 2017.

Assets under management were, at £109.3bn, down 4% year-on-year on 2017's £114.4bn as a result of positive net flows of £2.7bn. This fall took £7.8bn off the balance sheet. 

Net client cash flow, the difference between money received from and returned to customers came in at £4.7bn, or 5% of opening assets under management. Growth flows totalled £1.8bn.

The company reported costs of £79m on its new investment platform, on which work started in May 2017.

Quilter was listed on the London and Johannesbourg stock exchanges on 25 June last year. 

In an interview with International Investment this morning Peter Kenny, CEO of Old Mutual International, said the company is very pleased with the set of results particularly when considered "against a challenging market environment."

The company is very pleased with the set of results particularly when considered 'against a challenging market environment.'"

'Cautiously optimistic'
Kenny, pictured above, pointed to three particular challenges he saw for the international business, which still trades as Old Mutual International, over the past year: "First, an omnipresent Brexit uncertainty, with customers delaying investment decisions and sitting on their hands. Second, a softening of the pension transfer market toward the end of 2018. And third, a range of regulatory changes, from the Isle of Man's new Conduct of Business code to the UAE's proposed new adviser rules."

He went on to describe these factors contributing to "a challenging environment" demanding "companies' time and resources to ensure they keep up with an ever-changing regulatory landscape."

As to the outlook for the coming year, Kenny said he was "cautiously optimistic" for the company's prospects in 2019.

Paul Feeney, Quilter's chief executive officer, said in a statemtent released today: "Quilter performed well in 2018 despite increasingly challenging market conditions as the year progressed. We are delighted to report record profit with adjusted profit up 11% and adjusted diluted earnings per share up 15%. Although deteriorating investor sentiment over the course of the year made net client cash flows more challenging, the resilience in our integrated flows demonstrated that our business model is generating real traction with our customers.

"2019 will again be an important year for our business. We will substantially implement our new UK Platform, progress our Optimisation plans which will help to drive up our operating margin in 2020 and 2021, and we will increase numbers of advisers and investment managers to deliver high quality solutions that our customers need." 

The company is planning to relaunch its international business, currently trading under the Old Mutual International banner, as Quilter International. This change is still under discussion, and an announcement is expected later this year.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.