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SJP Asia results show recovery from loss

The firm’s Asia operation reported an annual increase in gross inflows and funds under management, reversing a £13.2m ($18.2m) loss in 2016.
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SJP Asia has been operating since 2014 when it acquired the Henley Group and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.

In its group financial results released on Tuesday, the firm did not provide a breakdown of its Asia operation, as it is “not yet sufficiently material for separate consideration”.

However, a spokesperson for SJP Asia confirmed to FSA’s sister publication International Adviser that gross inflows were £220.9m ($303.7m) for the year, while total funds under management were up 28% to £916m from £659m in 2016.

A net flow figure was not provided.

The results are an improvement from 2016, when SJP Asia reported a £13.2m loss, as chief executive David Bellamy confirmed that he would step down from his role at the end of 2017.

The financial results were released a day after SJP co-founder Mike Wilson died following a battle with cancer.

In paying tribute, newly appointed chief executive Andrew Croft said: “He will be missed as a friend and mentor to many of the SJP community.”

Growing adviser numbers

Mike Gravestock, international partnership director, said: “Our Asia operations continue to experience impressive growth. We now have over 120 advisers across Hong Kong, Singapore and China with fully licenced and operational life companies in both Hong Kong and Singapore.”

This represents an 18% increase in adviser numbers in Asia.

Globally, SJP has 3,661 financial advisers. As a whole, the business increased the number of advisers it works with by 7%.

Rowan Dartington

According to the financial results, funds under management at SJP’s discretionary fund management business, Rowan Dartington, increased by 34% to £2.1bn.

A Rowan Dartington service was launched in Hong Kong during 2017, with plans to extend the offering to Singapore and China in due course.

The results confirmed that neither SJP Asia nor Rowan Dartington are expected to achieve critical mass or contribute materially to group profitability in the short term.

However, the company remains “confident they will generate value over time”.

SJP Group results

As a group, St James’s Place reported that net inflows were up 40%, year-on-year, in 2017.

The wealth manager attracted net flows totalling £9.5bn in 2017 compared to £6.8bn in 2016, taking assets under management (AUM) to £90.7bn, compared to £75.3bn the previous year.

Croft said demographics and regulatory changes are tailwinds for the business.

“Our core target market is already large and forecast to grow further still, driven by favourable demographic trends and the accumulation of investable assets as savers take on the responsibility for providing for their own well-being in retirement.

“Meanwhile, the environment for UK savers seeking to plan their long-term financial affairs has rarely felt more difficult whether due to complexities around personal taxation, pensions freedoms, or the implications of a sustained low interest rate environment.”

Part of the Mark Allen Group.