Global wealth management firm St James’s Place (SJP) has seen its funds under management (FUM) soar during the first half of 2019.
In its H1 results, the company reported record FUM of £109.3bn ($133bn, €119.3bn), a £12.7bn increase from the same period in 2018 (£96.6bn).
But it also saw gross inflow of funds and net inflow of funds drop by around £500m and £800m, respectively, compared to the first half of 2018.
“Experience tells us that whilst inflows may be impacted from time to time by external factors that are beyond our control, our clients’ financial planning requirements remain unchanged and if anything, the need for advice is more pronounced in times of uncertainty,” said Andrew Croft, chief executive of SJP.
“Therefore, in the short term as the current external environment remains uncertain, confidence towards investing may remain tempered.
“However, it is at times like this that relationships between client and adviser are strengthened.”
Investing in financial advice
SJP also saw its number of qualified advisers increase by 3.6% to 4,096, globally.
It partly attributes the rise to a £5m investment in its Academy and Next Generation Academy – an £800,000 increase compared with H1 2018 – resulting in a further 446 individuals currently in training and 59 graduating as qualified advisers.
This trend was also recorded in SJP’s Asian business which now has 150 financial advisers, a 13% increase from the beginning of 2019.
The firms also said that there is a “strong pipeline of individuals who have applied to join our Asia business”.
Gross inflows in the region were also slightly lower than in 2018, but the firm said they were mostly impacted by high volatility and the US-China trade conflict.
Despite this, FUM in the Asian arm grew to £800m.
Additionally, SJP said it is working to expand its discretionary fund management (DFM) services into Shanghai and it has received regulatory approval for a licence to offer the same services in Singapore.