Brewin Dolphin's financial planning income rose 18% in the last financial year as the discretionary fund manager (DFM) increased investment in its growing advice arm.
Preliminary results for the year ending 30 September showed Brewin's total income rose from £304.5 million in 2017 to £329 million this year. Financial planning played a role in this increase as it contributed £24.5 million in 2018, compared to £20.8 million last year.
David Nicol (pictured), chief executive of Brewin Dolphin, said investing in financial advice 'talent' allowed Brewin to boost its income over the financial year.
'Our recruitment strategy is informed by our fundamental understanding that clients are not always seeking investment management alone, but increasingly require expert financial advice tailored to their personal circumstances. Financial planning services are a primary source of competitive advantage,' he said.
Brewin has invested significantly in its financial planning arm in recent years. This included the launch of 1762, a service targeted at those with complicated needs, and WealthPilot, a cheaper service for investment advice which uses Skype and phone calls to keep costs down.
Nicol said 1762 was 'hiring at a rate faster than expected' when it launched in August with 17 staff in a West London office. 'We are delighted with the quality of the hires we have made, who we are expecting to be a strong source of new client acquisition. The development of this service is already adding a new dimension to our brand, together with the opportunity to generate income growth,' he added.
He also said investment through WealthPilot 'has been modest' but Brewin was now expanding it to other regional offices.
Brewin also said it benefited from 'the ongoing demand for advice resulting from pension freedom legislation' as inflows into its DFM business hit a record £42.8 billion over the year. The company was recently tipped to be a big winner from defined benefit transfers alongside St James's Place, but it did not disclose how much business came from such transfers in its results.