Tavistock Investment PLC (LON:TAVI) said it plans to expand its product range and launch its own platform service after increasing assets under management for the sixth year running.
The group added that trading in the first quarter of the current year had also been significantly ahead of expectations.
Funds under management had risen by 6% to £1bn as at end-March, while underlying profits (adjusted EBITDA) jumped 24% over the year to £1.83mln, though operating profits were affected by higher depreciation charges.
Tavistock also took a £5mln impairment charge on the value of some of its assets, which meant a loss for the year of £5.7mln.
In the full-year results statement, Brian Raven, Tavistock's chief executive, hailed the performance of the group's ACUMEN protection portfolios as as underpinning the profitability of the investment management business.
“Our advisory business has also performed particularly well, stepping up to support clients in these challenging times and to mitigate the adverse effect that the lockdown is having on new business," he said.
Big plans for the coming years
Trading has been ahead of the board's expectations for the first quarter of the new financial year, with the ongoing focus on tight financial management and a group-wide reorganisation that he said will achieve savings of over £700,000 a year.
“We remain confident that the business will emerge from the current crisis in good shape," he concluded.
He told Proactive that he hopes to have a launch date for Tavistock's new low-cost, whole-of-market platform by the time of the company's interim results at the end of the year.
“We’re a long way advanced, in terms of talking to potential platform partners, we've been working on this for the last 12 month.
“We are also looking to significantly expand the range of investment products we make available to clients, principally in the form of adding to our model portfolios.”
Tavistock currently has 10 UCITS funds, including the three ACUMEN protected funds.
“What we are looking to do is launch model portfolios investing in index-tracking instruments, active fund managers, ESG fund holdings and make those available to clients in the most efficient way, which links back to the launch of the platform.”
While the group's core business is providing financial advice and investment management, he said moving into the platform business was “because we believe it’s the way to deliver the best value to the client - and that's not just about the platform charge -- we’re not getting into the platform business to make margin out of it, we’re getting into it so we can do a better job for customers”.
“It really about the efficiency about which you can run model portfolio investment solutions.”
Tavistock’s funds are on 25 platforms but only eight of them allow the company to run the model portfolios, which a varying degree of efficiency.
“The easiest way we can improve that situation is to run our own platform.”
“Our business is about helping advisers do the best job for their clients. And for our business to grow, the fastest way is to actually recruits advisers rather than making acquisitions.
“For advisers to join, they have to regard Tavistock as a better home than wherever they are at the moment.
“Our view is that somewhat immodestly we believe that we can do a better job than almost all of those with the right platform partner.”