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Rathbones restructures private office to 'simplify proposition'

Rathbones restructures private office to 'simplify proposition'

Rathbones restructured its private office last year as it sought to ‘simplify its proposition and build closer links with private client discretionary managers’.

Analysts have previously questioned whether the launch of the ultra-high net worth team was the most effective use of capital, although the 2017 launch has since been followed by Brewin Dolphin.

In its full-year results, the house said that the unit was one of its ‘growth initiatives [that] have been slower to bear fruit’, and that its finance advice team was also reorganised during the period.

‘It will require investment in the short-term to ensure that all of our key offices have an appropriate level of access to financial advisers to support business development,’ it said in a statement.

‘We will continue to invest selectively in financial planning talent in 2019. The Rathbone Private Office has also recently been restructured… we will continue to leverage the professional network it has established to add to growth.’

Group profit rose 4.7% in the year, from £87.5 million to £91.6 million, including £2.8 million from Speirs & Jeffrey during the four-month period since it purchased the Scottish wealth manager.

The group reported that AUM was 12.8% higher in the year, with the bulk of an increase from £39.1 billion to £44.1 billion due to the £6.7 billion in client funds managed by Speirs & Jeffrey. In contrast to many other managers who took a tumble at year end, the business reported organic growth of 1.1%. 

By 8:45 a.m. shares in Rathbones were 0.6% higher at £22.64. The results were the last to be presented under chief executive Philip Howell (pictured), who will hand over to successor Paul Stockton in May this year.

Assets within the unit trust business rose from £5.3 billion to £5.6 billion on a net inflow of £543 million. The company, which recently announced it would launch Luxembourg domiciled funds in order to continue to service continental clients after Brexit, noted that clients invested in the current feeder funds ‘will see some changes to the basis on which these funds are delivered’.

‘It is also possible that there may be some implications for our private clients based in other EEA countries depending on the exact nature of the services they receive and regulatory framework agreed in the transitional period or in the event of an exit from the EU without agreement,’ it added. 

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