SJP’s Joint Chief Operating Officer, Iain Rayner explains that, over the last year, the firm has continued to see strong growth and an increasing demand for trusted, personal face-to-face advice.
“As reported in our recent annual results, the money we and our Partners look after on behalf of clients increased by 20 per cent over the year to now stand at around GBP90 billion, and we added an extra 246 advisers to our Partnership – an increase of 7 per cent.
“Of course, one significant change we saw at the beginning of the year has been at the very top, with Andrew Croft replacing David Bellamy as Chief Executive after 11 very successful years in charge.”
In its expansion plans, St. James’s Place continues to actively seek new talent to further enhance the stature of the wider adviser profession.
Rayner says: “The St. James’s Place Academy plays a huge role in helping to bridge the gap that has emerged for quality financial advice in the market, and over 400 wealth managers have now trained and graduated through this programme. Around 250 more individuals are currently studying on active programmes nationwide. This is good news for the future generations of clients who will want to receive quality financial advice for years to come.
“As well as bringing through the next generation of advisers, we’re also fully committed to the ongoing development of our Partners and over 560 of our Partners and advisers are now Chartered. We’ve developed an extensive programme of support to help people within our Partnership achieve Chartered status and we’re looking to grow this number further still through 2018 and beyond.”
Winner of two awards in the Wealth Adviser awards this year, Rayner believes that the firm’s success has been built on the Partners’ core commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for clients and ensuring they are well served by the long-term, face-to-face relationship-based approach to the management of their financial affairs.
“Clients value the service provided by the St. James’s Place Partnership and we know that highly personalised advice remains in high demand as the management of individuals’ financial affairs becomes more, not less, complex,” he says.
“Across society as a whole we’re seeing a number of changes that can have a significant impact on people’s finances and how they plan for the future. The whole nature of retirement is changing radically. At one end of the age spectrum, people are living longer and we’re seeing more instances where two generations of families are in retirement at the same time; while at the other end, younger generations are looking to finance the rising costs associated with further education and getting on the housing ladder.”
2017 saw the firm launch a new Retirement Account with added flexibility for clients as they move from accumulation of savings before retirement to drawdown of benefit in retirement. There is also a cash management portal, a probate service as part of the firm’s intergenerational initiative, a panel of private banks to serve higher net worth clients and a further range of savings accounts.
Rayner says: “Looking ahead, a key opportunity and challenge for the wealth management industry over the long-term will be how to sensibly manage the generational transfer of wealth, which is forecast to total some GBP2.8 trillion over the next 30 years. We have already made good steps in developing our intergenerational proposition for clients, and this will continue to be an area we focus on.”