SJP raises dividend and rolls out new income fund - Updated

Added 27th July 2016

St James’s Place has increased its interim dividend by 15% despite reporting a profit drop in the second quarter.

SJP raises dividend and rolls out new income fund - Updated

The FTSE 100 wealth manager’s stock was one of the top performers during morning trading, rising 4.07% to 919.5p.

Following on the heels of its interim results, SJP confirmed the launch of its Worldwide Income Fund to be managed by Investec Asset Management’s Clyde Rossouw based in Cape Town, South Africa.

SJP CIO, Chris Ralph, said the new equity income fund “represents an important part of our proposition to meet client demand for income-generating investments.”

The firm also made some significant changes to its fund manager roster, with Aberdeen Asset Management’s Hugh Young and Stewart Investors' Jonathan Asante exiting.

The Far East Fund Young has been managing will be renamed the Asia Pacific Fund and be run by First State Stewart Asia’s Alistair Thompson and Martin Lau.

Stewart Investors’ Asante has been replaced as manager of the Worldwide Opportunities Fund and the Global Emerging Markets Fund by Glen Finegan and Jim Hamel respectively.

While the wealth manager said it is not underestimating possible knock-on effects from Brexit, the firm said its interim dividend of 12.33p per share was justified by strong underlying cash growth and consistent inflows.

Gross inflows were up by 20% to £5.3bn over the first half of the year. And SJP’s funds under management climbed to £65.6bn, a 12% increase from the start of the year and £10bn higher than the previous year.

Despite signs of positive momentum, the group’s profits were “once again impacted” by a heightened levy charged by the FSCS. The £17m levy saw profit before shareholder tax drop to £60.5m compared with £67m the year before.

SJP chief executive, David Bellamy, said the group remains “hopeful that the elevated levy imposed over the last two years will return to a more normalised level in future years.”

And with the introduction of SJP’s intergenerational mortgage range, an increased focus on the growth of its advisory services and other projects in the pipeline, Bellamy said he is confident about the direction the group is headed in.

“Despite continued volatility in world stock markets and political uncertainty across Europe, I am pleased to once again be reporting a strong first half performance and continued positive momentum in our business.

“Indeed, I can report that new fund flows since the Referendum remain in line with those medium term objectives,” he said.

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