Rathbones reported a 6.8% slide in client assets over the final quarter of the year from £41.3 billion to £38.5 billion as risk assets slumped, denting an otherwise strong year for asset gathering.
Despite the slide, which compared to a 10.4% slide in the FTSE 100 and a 7.9% fall in the WMA, the house reported a 12.8% increase in assets over the 12 months from £39.1 billion to £44.1 billion.
Net inflows stood at £8.5 billion, of which £6.8 billion was added via the acquisition last summer of Scottish wealth manager Speirs & Jeffrey.
In a statement the group said it did not expect the volatility that marked the end of 2019 to subside soon, and it believed there remained a strong business case for continued investment.
It said: ‘Whist market conditions can reasonably be expected to be volatile in 2019, we will continue to invest selectively for the longer term in the skills and infrastructure necessary to improve our operational efficiency and deliver high-quality services to our clients.’
The house noted the acquisition of Speirs & Jeffrey was ahead of schedule and it expected to pay out the next tranche of contingent equity in the next three months rather than late this year.
In November the business revealed chief executive Philip Howell (pictured) is to retire next year with the role passing to long-serving finance director Paul Stockton, who was promoted to managing director of the private client wealth arm in May.
Stockton joined the company in 2008. He will head Rathbones following Howell's formal departure in May, with the two working on a handover basis in the interim.