* New business on APE basis up 8 pct at 165.6 mln stg
* Third quarter net inflow at 750 mln stg
* Funds under management 32.8 billion stg
By Chris Vellacott
LONDON, Oct 31 St James's Place reported
strong third quarter sales on Wednesday, a sign the British
wealth manager is grabbing market share from rivals and
benefiting from its well-heeled clientele saving more money.
Total new business grew 8 percent in the third quarter and
the company also said sales had accelerated since the period
ended, rising 14 percent in September alone.
Chief Executive David Bellamy said the company had benefited
from a regulatory shake-up of financial product sales in the UK
which is likely to increase costs and drive many rivals out of
the investment advice market.
The shake-up has prompted a number of retail banks to raise
the minimum investment required to qualify for advisory services
or shut down advice businesses altogether.
"The banks are looking away from that middle England advice
market," Bellamy said.
This, he said, had provided St James's Place with a pool of
experienced financial advisers to recruit as well as clients
looking for new fund managers.
In addition to the opportunities offered by competitors
departing the industry, the demographic realities of Britain's
ageing and relatively prosperous middle classes facing tough
economic times are also driving growth.
St James's Place core clients - typically people with
investible assets ranging from around 50,000 pounds to
multi-millionaires - are eager to put more money to work as
negative real returns on deposits eat away at their wealth.
"The new normal is becoming a reality. The economy is going
to be slow, interest rates aren't going anywhere. There's a
sense of reality now that says this isn't going to change any
time soon," Bellamy said.
The strong sales performance helped push St James's Place
shares up more than 5 percent to 400 pence by 0910 GMT against a
flat broader market.
"Q3 figures were slightly ahead of consensus on all
metrics... We think the shares will perform well today
reflecting the improved outlook and prospect of sales," Numis
Securities analysts said in a note to clients.
St James's Place also reported an increase in staff
recruitment during the third quarter which Bellamy said should
bolster further business growth as they bring in more clients.
Total funds under management grew 6 percent to 32.8 billion
pounds over the three month period, having risen 15 percent
since the beginning of 2012.