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St James Place grows assets by 27 in 2013

SJP will look to grow organically as assets show growth spurt.

St James Place grows assets by 27 in 2013


Showing that firms who designate themselves as ‘restricted’ following the retail distribution review (RDR) can continue to be a success, SJP’s net inflows of assets under management (AUM) were £4.3bn, up 28% from £3.35bn, while total new business on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis for the year was £865.2m, a rise of 16%.
The firm also increased the number of partners it works with by 9.5% to 1,958, and took on the business of some 40,000 new clients. 
Tony Dunk, marketing director at SJP, said the business has continued growing and nothing has changed in terms of what it does: “95% of our business comes from existing clients or client referrals. All relationships are based on a face-to-face basis.”
There is notably less competition in the industry, though, than there was a few years ago, noted Dunk. “There’s been a contraction in terms of the number of advisers. Banks have withdrawn from giving advice to lower level affluent clients.”
Whether this can be ascribed to the retail distribution review (RDR), Dunk is not entirely convinced. “I don’t think clients wake up in the morning and think about RDR. RDR didn’t drive banks to stop having advisers; mis-selling did. So it’s not RDR-related, but we did benefit from that change.The fundamental thing is there’s an ever decreasing source of quality face-to-face advice.”  
SJP is happy to position itself as a restricted adviser, said Dunk. “We’ve always positioned ourselves as offering SJP products. Within the investment committee we can then select the fund manager to manage our funds. We also restrict the advice our partners can give to only products that have gone through our due diligence process.”
The firm will look to grow organically rather than through acquisitions, individually selecting advisers to partner with, said Dunk, although it is also looking at exploring opportunities such as serving expats in some jurisdictions.

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