Net inflows lift assets of British wealth managers Rathbones, Brewin

LONDON (Reuters) – British wealth managers Rathbone Brothers and Brewin Dolphin reported rises in their respective total assets on Wednesday, driven by net inflows of new client money.

Both firms have looked to grow the amount of money they directly invest on behalf of their affluent clients in recent years, bolstered in part by regulatory change that has given people greater control over their retirement savings.

Rathbones, which recently announced plans to buy Scottish rival Speirs & Jeffrey, said its total assets in the six months through June were 39.9 billion pounds ($53 billion), up 2 percent from the end of December.

Pretax profit in the period jumped 64.3 percent to 43.7 million pounds, in part thanks to a write-back of costs linked to the recent relocation of the company’s headquarters to cheaper premises in London, it said in a statement.

That, in turn, helped underpin an interim dividend of 24 pence a share, up from 22 pence in the year-earlier period.

“During the second half of the year, we will continue to prioritize the investment of time and financial resources in our investment management business, seeking to improve our services and the efficiency of our infrastructure,” Rathbones said.

Peel Hunt analyst Stuart Duncan said the results were “comfortably ahead of our expectations”, although analysts at KBW said inflows, while “a decent showing”, were below target and at 0737 GMT Rathbones’ shares were down 1 percent at 2,468 pence each.

Sector peer Brewin Dolphin also recorded a strong third-quarter, as total funds rose 6.5 percent to 42.3 billion pounds, helped by inflows and market gains.

That helped the company chalk up a record quarter for income in the quarter to end-June of 84.2 million pounds.

“The significant and evolving need for financial and investment advice in the UK continues to support our strategic direction and we remain confident in the outlook for the business,” Chief Executive David Nicol said in a statement.

Calling net inflows “significantly better than target”, KBW analyst Jonathan Richards said he expected Brewin Dolphin’s shares to rise.

By 0737 GMT they were trading up 1.4 percent at 341.2 pence a share.

($1 = 0.7604 pounds)

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Susan Fenton

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