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SJP Reports "Robust" Financial Results; Reiterates Job Cut Plan

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , London, 26 February 2021

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St James's Place said its overall results held up well considering the vicissitudes of an economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is shedding about 200 jobs.

St James’s Place, the UK wealth manager, yesterday reiterated that it is cutting about 200 jobs from across its business as it simplifies operations. The London-listed firm reported an after-tax profit for 2020 of £262.0 million (around $368 million), up from £146.6 million a year before. 

SJP logged net inflows of funds under management of £8.2 billion last year, down from £9.0 billion a year ago. Funds under management stood at £129.3 billion, up from £117 billion. 

The partnership has 4,338 advisors, it said. 

“As we look forward, we must ensure we are an agile and dynamic business, one that is able to flex to the changing needs of both the partnership and clients. To ensure we have our investment, our resources, and our people in the right areas to drive our business forward, in early 2020 we began a review of how we’re organised to deliver against our strategic priorities,” Andrew Croft, chief executive, said. 

“During 2021 we are therefore simplifying our operations where we can, removing duplication of work and stopping those tasks that are now no longer needed. Unfortunately, this streamlining of the business means a loss of around 200 roles from across the St James’s Place business. We hope, however, that a combination of filling vacant roles across the business and a voluntary redundancy programme in appropriate areas, will mitigate the number of individuals impacted by this difficult decision,” he said. 

Croft also expressed frustration over the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy it incurred, saying the figure had “significantly impacted” its result. “Our contribution to the levy in 2020 was £36.7 million some 33 per cent higher than a year ago. Whilst we continue to support an industry safety net for consumers, the increasing size of the levy is a real concern and source of frustration. Good companies are having to continue to fund a significant cost over which they have no control or influence,” he said. 

The firm logged an underlying cash result for 2020 of £264.7 million versus £273.1 million in 2019. 

The firm decided early last year to withhold 11.22 pence of the 2019 final dividend until the financial costs of COVID-19 became clear; SJP has decided that as it has more idea of the economic picture, it can pay the withheld amount as a further 2019 interim dividend of 11.22 pence per share on 24 March.

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