* Funds under management up 19 percent to 47.6 bln pounds
* New inflows of 2.4 bln pounds
* Interim dividend up 40 pct
* After recent strong run, shares down 3.6 pct
(Adds quote, background, shares)
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, July 29 UK wealth manager St. James's
Place bucked a patchy investment environment to post
record funds under management (FuM) in the first half of the
year, boosted by new client inflows.
FuM rose 19 percent to 47.6 billion pounds ($80.79 billion)
in the six months to June 30, the company said, helped by 2.4
billion pounds in new money and the retention of 95 percent of
its existing client funds.
That continued the strong growth seen at its first-quarter
results as it continued to see more affluent clients seek out
The stock has been one of the winners from a British
government shake-up of the financial services industry which has
hit small financial advisers by toughening up the rules on
qualifications and the payment of commission for services.
"There is an increasing need for trusted advice out in the
marketplace and fewer people providing it, and that's why our
business is in great shape," Chief Executive David Bellamy said.
The stock is up 8.5 percent this year versus a flat FTSE 100
to trade at 21.4 times 12-month forward earnings, 63
percent above its 10-year median number, Thomson Reuters data
Up 6.8 percent in the six sessions ahead of the results, it
was down 3.6 percent to 761.5 pence by 0729 GMT, on course for
its biggest daily fall in two months.
"The share have been reasonably strong over the last couple
of weeks and people were expecting a beat and it has only come
in line," said David Mccann, an analyst at Numis Securities.
The group recorded total single investments of 3.92 billion
pounds in the period, up 21 percent, and said Partnership
numbers, the external relationship managers that help sell its
services, grew 5.4 percent to 2,007 over 12 months.
Operating profit rose 12 percent rise to 260.7 million
pounds, helping fund an increase in the interim dividend of 40
percent to 8.93 pence a share, with forecasts of a similar
increase to the full-year payout.
St James's was sold by majority owner Lloyds Banking Group
($1 = 0.5892 British Pounds)
(Additional reporting by Nishant Kumar; editing by Huw Jones
and Jason Neely)