Schroders has enjoyed record inflows of £43.4bn during 2019, more than quadruple the £9.5bn it took in the previous year, with the majority of this attributable to the Scottish Widows mandate and the Schroders Personal Wealth venture.
The Scottish Widows mandate into Solutions strategies brought £32bn into the business, while the Schroders Personal Wealth venture delivered another £12.6bn.
However, without this boost from its relationship with Lloyds Banking Group, the business would have suffered net outflows of £1.2bn.
We have put provisions in place to safeguard the health of employees globally, including travel restrictions and remote working where appropriate"
A large proportion of the outflows was seen from the institutional part of the business, which shed £7.1bn, while mutual funds also saw £1.5bn of outflows.
However, private assets and alternatives were in demand, with this part of the business taking in £2.8bn. Total inflows into solutions came in at £46bn.
Profit before tax also came in 4% lower than the previous year at £624.6m, while operating expenses saw a 4% increase. Asset management profit before tax fell some 10% to £606.9m.
However, the business managed to breach the £500bn threshold in assets under management, a 23% increase over the 12 month period, despite average assets being up only 2% as net inflows and market performance did not come in until the end of the year.
Commenting on the latest results, CEO Peter Harrison said: "Over the last few years we have been repositioning our business behind a clear vision to move closer to our end clients through wealth management, expand our capabilities in private assets and grow our solutions business. Today, these business areas represent over half of our clients' assets under management.
"The year saw three notable events: the successful launch of Schroders Personal Wealth (our joint venture with Lloyds Banking Group), the start of the transfer of the Scottish Widows mandate to Schroders and the establishment of a market-leading position in impact investing and micro-finance through our acquisition of BlueOrchard."
However, despite the strong results, Harrison has warned that in the near term the Covid-19 virus is creating "considerable uncertainty for economies and markets".
"We believe that our business resilience is sufficient to deal with this, but the impact on economies and markets will be highly correlated with how effective containment measures are," he said.
He added Schroders continues to monitor the situation and follow the guidance of local public authorities on containing the spread of the virus.
"We have put provisions in place to safeguard the health of employees globally, including travel restrictions and remote working where appropriate," he said.
"At the same time, we are taking steps so that the business will continue to operate without disruption and that client service remains unaffected."
This article was first published by Investment Week