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Stuart Rhodes ups SJP stake as stock soars

M&G income veteran Stuart Rhodes has upped his stake in national financial advice and planning group St James’s Place

Stuart Rhodes ups SJP stake as stock soars

M&G income veteran Stuart Rhodes has upped his stake in national financial advice and planning group St James’s Place as its shares dip from a record high hit following a Goldman Sachs upgrade.

Rhodes (pictured) increased his holding in the business from 25.5 million shares to 26.4 million or just over 5% worth £280 million at a share price of £10.58, just off from last week’s all-time high of £10.85.

His £6.7 billion M&G Global Dividend fund is one of the largest fund shareholders of the stock.

The fund started building a position in the business last year, following what Rhodes described as ‘the indiscriminate sell-off in UK financials after the shock referendum result’.

St James’s Place dropped an immediate 22% following the vote, but after a steady recovery has begun to set fresh record highs as the wider market has soared this year.

Goldman Sachs last lifted its price target on the stock from £10.95 to £11.45, rated buy.  

Client assets runs by St James’s Place rose by almost a third from £54.5 billion to £71.4 billion over the year to the end of September as the company claimed to be operating ‘business as usual’.

In an update on Q3 fund flows the business reported a £1.66 billion net commitment of client money over the three months since Brexit with pension saving continuing to contribute strong growth.

‘The third quarter fell between two political turning points in the UK: the EU referendum result announced on 24 June and Theresa May's first Brexit planning speech on 3 October,’ said chief executive David Bellamy.

‘However, despite the backdrop of political uncertainty, it's been very much business as usual and we've maintained good momentum in the business since the half year, with new investments in the most recent three months 21% higher.’

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