Speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting, Rathbones’ Chairman, Mark Nicholls (pictured, admitted that “volatile investment markets have presented challenges,” he said the company intends to pursue its longer term growth initiatives regardless.
He added that “Rathbones remains alert to acquisition opportunities that may arise as a consequence of these market conditions."
One such opportunity, mentioned in its first quarter results, is the recently signed agreed External Asset Manager relationship with Credit Suisse to develop the Rathbone Private Office (RPO). Rathbones explained the RPO would complement its existing discretionary fund management, tax, trust, financial planning and banking services by connecting private office clients to “a full range of specialist private banking products, services and lending solutions.”
For the quarter, Rathbones’ reported a moderate 0.3% increase in total funds under management from £29.2bn at 31 December 2015 to £29.3bn for the period to 31 March.
The company’s unit trust business also showed promising Q1 results, citing net inflows of £130m and £3.16bn worth of funds under management, a 16.3% increase from the previous year.
Though the company’s investment management business saw an 8.3% increase in fee income from £34.8m to £37.7m year on year, underlying net operating income was down 2.2% during the same period.
Commission income experienced a drastic decrease of 31.9% between Q1 2016 and Q1 2015, the result of “lower trading volumes and settlement values, and a continuing trend towards higher quality fee based income,” Rahtbones claimed.
Rathbones’ investment management arm’s inflows from new organic business and acquisitions were also lower in the first quarter of 2016, generating only £616m compared with Q1 2015’s £812m.
The company continued to see outflows (Q1 2016: £382m), admittedly, not as high as the year before (Q1 2015: £414m).
Shares in the firm were trading 1.12% lower at £20.24 per share after the release.