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St James's Place sees opportunity in uncertainty

The company had £109bn in funds under management, but warned of uncertainty in the market
St James's Place sees opportunity in uncertainty

St James’s Place (STJ) blamed ongoing political uncertainty for a 15 per cent year-on-year reduction in net inflows at the half-year mark. The UK has seen a switch away from risk assets in favour of gilts in the three years since the UK voted to sever ties with the European Union, but the wealth manager’s anxiety could be misplaced considering it closed out the period with record funds under management of £109bn.

IC TIP: Hold at 985p

Investors may be a little more interested in how fund managers at RWC and Columbia Threadneedle are faring with the group’s segregated mandate after responsibility was pulled from Woodford Investment Management. There is scant mention of the embattled fund manager, but that’s unsurprising given that the dust is yet to settle.

Group chief executive, Andrew Croft, detects a silver lining in that, “if anything, the need for advice is more pronounced in times of uncertainty”. That explains why the total number of fully qualified advisers increased by 3.6 per cent to 4,096, with another 446 individuals in the Academy programme.

Analysts at Numis expect pre-tax profits of £299.6m during 2019 giving EPS of 55.8p, increasing to £373.9m and 69.2p in 2020.

ST JAMES'S PLACE (STJ)   
ORD PRICE:926.6pMARKET VALUE:£4.92bn
TOUCH:926.4-926.8p12-MONTH HIGH:1,235pLOW: 906p
DIVIDEND YIELD:3.9%PE RATIO:45
NET ASSET VALUE:175pNET CASH:£6.7bn
Half-year to 30 JuneGross written premiums (£m)Pre-tax profit (£m)Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
201822.193.413.118.49
201920.34578.718.49
% change-8+389-34-
Ex-div:29 Aug   
Payment:27 Sep