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SJP assets climb above £100bn on pension demand

SJP assets climb above £100bn on pension demand

Client assets at St James’s Place climbed through £100 billion in the third quarter, powered by continued strong demand among pension investors, who committed £2.23 billion in the period.

That contributed to an outsize proportion of the company’s net inflow of £2.4 billion, taking its inflow over the calendar year to £7.6 billion and its total funds under management to £100.6 billion.

Despite a sharp breakdown in risk appetite compared to the booming equity markets of 2017, that figure was 15% higher than last year’s £6.6 billion.

That was just below an analyst consensus of a £2.5 billion increase in portfolio assets over the three month period, however. By 9.09 am, shares in SJP were 4.01% lower on the day, at 993p.

Chief executive Andrew Croft (pictured) said: ‘We have delivered this continued growth despite both tough comparatives and a more challenging environment for the industry, once again demonstrating our resilience in these market conditions.

‘There remains growing demand for high quality financial advice, notwithstanding the current macro and geopolitical uncertainty.’

The milestone in client assets under management was predicted last week in a highly bullish analysis by broker Panmure Gordon, which described a slide in SJP shares from a January high of £12.71 to a recent £10.34 as an ‘excellent buying opportunity’ and its present value as ‘irrational’.

'SJP is trading at a 10% discount to our 2018F EEV forecast of £11.68 a share, which we believe is completely irrational given the value of the new business machine that is the partnership,' it noted.

In an update following the quarterly figures, Panmure analyst Barrie Cornes said that despite the 'very slight miss' on inflows his case remained intact, and that the dissapointment was 'due to the very tough comparator from last year combined by the state of the market – SJP isn’t immune'.

Client assets at subsidiary Rowan Dartington rose from £2.1 billion to £2.4 billion over the nine months.

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