St James’s Place rakes in £2.6bn in three months as pension savers ramp up investments
- SJP’s assets rise 24.7% in one year to £148.1bn, driven by pension savers
- Loss-making PensionBee’s assets more than double to £2.2bn
St. James’s Place saw net inflows of £2.6billion in the three months to the end of September, driven by pension clients piling in £1.6billion during the quarter.
The wealth manager’s assets under management grew to almost £148.1billion in the third quarter as investment and other clients added a further £190million and £850million each, respectively.
SJP has seen its total AUM rise 24.7 per cent since September 2020, following a year of strong business growth.
Chief executive Andrew Croft says ‘our business is in great shape’ despite near-term uncertainty
The firm now expects inflow growth to be ‘modestly’ ahead of its previous guidance, and gross inflows for the full year to be around 25 per cent.
Chief executive Andrew Croft said increased personal savings and improving consumer confidence had ‘provided a favourable market backdrop’ for the firm, which also reported a ‘robust’ annualised asset retention rate of 96.2 per cent/
He added: ‘There remains uncertainty around the near-term economic and investment market outlook, but our business is in great shape.
‘Beyond 2021, it is natural that we will see variations in the pattern of new business growth we achieve over time, but our performance this year gives us every confidence in the 2025 ambitions we set out for St. James’s Place earlier this year.”
SJP shares were up 0.5 per cent in late morning trading on Thursday to 1,545.5p, having risen 34.7 per cent year-to-date.
Online pension provider PensionBee Group also reported strong growth on Thursday, with its number of invested customers increasing by 75 per cent in the year to 30 September 104,000.
The loss-making provider’s assets under administration more than doubled during the period, growing from £1.1billion in September 2020 to more than £2.2billion.
On Thursday PensionBee said its retention rate remained above 95 per cent for the year, while its number of registered customers grew by 71 per cent to 602,000.
While revenues grew from £6.3million at the start of the year to £8.9million, the firm’s adjusted earnings margin – a measure of a company’s operating profit as a percentage of its revenue – was -133 per cent.
However, this is down from -166 per cent at the start of the year.
Last month it reported that its pre-tax losses grew by 145 per cent in the first half of 2021, rising from £5.2million in the six months to 30 June 2020 to £12.8million.
PensionBee, which allows consumers to transfer, merge and manage pensions, raised £55million in its April Initial Public Offering amid expectations that it will be on ‘a path to profitability’ by the end of 2023.
PensionBee shares have struggled since the firm listed in April
This week it said that in the nine months to the end of September it had invested in customer acquisition and brand awareness, ‘ensuring that Cost per Invested Customer remained within the desired range’.
It also continued to invest in product innovation ‘in order to enhance the customer experience and further its strategic goals, including delivering additional functionality’
PensionBee re-iterated the guidance given at its IPO and said revenue growth for the year would be ‘at the top end’ of expectations.
CEO Romi Savova said: ‘We are pleased with our strong financial and operational performance over the period, demonstrating the strength of our customer focused proposition and the extent to which our offering continues to resonate with the UK population.
‘Our investment in technology and brand awareness will allow us to make further progress against our growth strategy, bringing us one step closer towards achieving our goal of making pensions simple for all while continuing to make positive changes in the pensions industry.’
PensionBee shares are up 4.5 per cent in late morning trading to 138.9p.