Charles Stanley, which provides holistic wealth management services to private clients, charities and smaller institutions, is back in profit as it restates its intention to become the UK’s leading wealth manager by 2020.
Its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March, 2017, showed a reported profit before tax of £8.8m (2016: £0.3m loss). Reported revenue, £141.6m (£141.6m), was in line with the previous year, despite disposal of non-core activities.
The balance sheet strengthened, with Group cash balance increasing to £58.4m (£48.4m). And Funds under Management and Administration were up 17.1% to £24.0bn (£20.5bn).
The core business operating margin improved to 7.1% (3.1%) and total 2017 dividend increased 20% to 6 pence per share (5 pence per share).
Operational highlights include:
- new remuneration arrangements for investment managers successfully completed;
- transformation programme beginning to deliver increased profitability;
- all non-core activities disposed of – EBS sale completed on 31 May 2017;
- governance framework overhauled.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Abberley said: “2017 was a year of significant progress at Charles Stanley with our transformation programme delivering increased profitability, more satisfied clients and improved staff engagement. Our strategy is now in place with improved governance, better cost control, a revised remuneration policy and clear plans to grow each of our client servicing divisions – Investment Management Services, Asset Management, Financial Planning and Charles Stanley Direct – and to extract operating efficiencies across front and back office alike. As a result we are more streamlined, focused and in a position to deliver profitably the products and services our clients want and need.
“Looking ahead, our aim remains to become the UK’s leading wealth manager by 2020. The Group has benefited this year from favourable markets but there is global economic and political uncertainty to be navigated including the UK’s departure from the EU. While there is much speculation about the impact of Brexit on the financial services industry, we are confident that Charles Stanley, which has been at the heart of the City for over two centuries and weathered many storms, will continue successfully to serve our clients.”