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St James's Place reports strong third quarter inflows of new client cash

The FTSE 100-listed wealth manager said it now has more than £100bn of funds under management

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St James’s Place said demand for financial advice remained strong despite macro and geo-political uncertainty

St James’s Place PLC (LON:STJ) said it had seen strong inflows of new client cash during its third quarter as it hit £100bn of assets under management for the first time but concerns over a slowdown in the rate of growth knocked its shares.

The FTSE 100-listed wealth manager said on Tuesday that its gross flows came in at £3.83bn in the three months to the end of September – 7% up on the same period a year ago. This takes the year to date gross flows to £11.75bn, up 12% on the first nine months of 2017.

READ: St James's Place sees strong new cash inflows boost its first-half operating profit, funds under management

“With continued strong retention, net flows for the nine months were up 15% to £7.68bn, taking funds under management to a record £100.6bn, up 11% since the start of the year and 17% over the twelve months,” CEO Andrew Croft said in a statement, adding that the company had retained 96% of client funds in the year to date.

“We have delivered this continued growth despite both tough comparatives and a more challenging environment for the industry, once again demonstrating our resilience in these market conditions,” added Croft.

St James’s Place said demand for financial advice remained strong, notwithstanding the current macro and geo-political uncertainty and that it remained confident in its ability to grow the business in line with its medium-term objectives.

However, analysts cautioned that the pace of growth had slowed compared to the first half of the year, which had knocked the financial services firm's shares in early trade.

"Looking at the gross flows into the business, third quarter growth of 7% is significantly down on the 15% growth seen at the half year stage. It is worth noting, however, that this is on the back of a very strong comparator that was up 28%," Shore Capital analysts said in a note to clients, adding that the group continues to deliver market leading flows and remains confident that it can maintain 15-20% growth over the medium term.

Shares in the company, which have fallen 17% since mid-June on the back of the general market sell-off and concerns around Brexit, were 4.3% down at 990.0p in mid-morning trade.

-- Updates intro, adds analyst comment and share price -- 

Quick facts: St. James's Place

Price: 1080.5 GBX

LSE:STJ
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £5.77 billion
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