finance

Brewin Dolphin’s total funds up 15% after acquisitions



Brewin Dolphin has reported total funds under management increasing by 15% to £47.6bn since the end of March, although when excluding the £2.7bn of funds gained from acquisitions, the figure was broadly flat year-on-year.

The wealth management group’s preliminary management statement for the year ended 30 September also revealed total discretionary fund inflows of £2.8bn – also flat year-on-year – while total discretionary net flows of £900m were down from £1.4bn during the full year 2019.

Total income for the period increased by 6.6% to £361.4m, including £19.8m from recent acquisitions. Income was higher in the second half of the year due to higher commission and fee income due to higher market levels – with financial planning income up 20.4% to £33.1m.

Profit before tax and adjusted items increased 4.3% to £78.2m, with cash balances sitting at £180.5m – down from £229.2m in 2019.

In terms of the recent acquisitions, the firm reported “swift integration” of Investec Capital & Investments Ireland, which has been rebranded to Brewin Dolphin Capital & Investments Ireland, with all clients and assets migrated remotely in April.

It also expanded and trialled new client investment solutions through the 1762 from Brewin Dolphin proposition, with new technology launched to enhance user-experience for WealthPilot clients, alongside enhancements to the MyBrewin portal.

A new custody and settlement system is on track for implementation during Autumn 2021.

Market conditions “remain challenging against economic and social headwinds”, but the update stated that the firm is well placed to capture the momentum once markets rebound.

Chief executive Robin Beer – who took over from retiring David Nicol in June – said: “Looking ahead, we’re prioritising our digital agenda, so we can innovate and explore ways to improve client and advisor user experiences.

“Our sector continues to have structural growth dynamics and we intend to benefit from these by enhancing our distribution capability both through our direct and indirect channels.”

The board is proposing a final dividend of 9.9p per share, to be approved at the 2021 AGM and to be paid on 10 February 2021.

Marc Wilkinson, regional director for Scotland at Brewin Dolphin, said that performance north of the border has been resilient, with all offices doing well.

“We have seen strong growth, with a regular stream of new enquiries – Glasgow, in particular, has continued to grow through both its IFA and direct services.

“Although the volatility in the oil price has been particularly challenging to the local economy in Aberdeen, our office has been resilient. Edinburgh has been similarly robust and remains an important contributor to our UK business, while Dundee continues to perform well.”

Wilkinson added that very few clients have panicked and sold out of investments, so most have benefitted from the recovery in asset prices since March and April’s lows.

“There are early signs that we may take some of the new ways of doing business into the ‘new normal’ – with some clients preferring a more digital approach – but there is still a lot of ground to cover yet.”



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