St. James's Place posts record funds under management, says demand rising

Upmarket wealth manager St. James's Place reported record funds under management of 118.7 billion pounds ($154.70 billion) on Tuesday, although the pace of net inflows slowed in the third quarter to 1.4 billion pounds.

Adds details from statement

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Upmarket wealth manager St. James's Place SJP.L reported record funds under management of 118.7 billion pounds ($154.70 billion) on Tuesday, although the pace of net inflows slowed in the third quarter to 1.4 billion pounds.

The company also said it saw "increasing demand for sound, highly personal financial planning advice" amid a "challenging external environment".

"Looking ahead, the increased uncertainty linked to COVID-19 will inevitably influence client investment confidence and consequent decision-making," Chief Executive Andrew Croft said.

"However, drawing on the experience of the last six months, I am confident that the Partnership will continue to adapt to whatever circumstances they face," he said.

The update comes a day after activist investor PrimeStone Capital wrote an open letter to SJP's board calling for a broad overhaul of the UK-listed company's cost base to improve shareholder returns.

Asset managers recorded outflows that collectively ran into billions of dollars earlier in the year when market sentiment was dampened by concerns about the pandemic's impact on global economic growth.

However, a recovery has ensued since as governments across the world have pumped in money to get their countries up and running from an initial shock, with hopes of a vaccine also offering support.

While the company's closing funds under management grew by 5.2% during the third quarter, net inflows dipped to 1.44 billion pounds from 2.11 billion pounds.

($1 = 0.7673 pounds)

(Reporting By Sinead Cruise in London and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Simon Jessop)

((sinead.cruise@thomsonreuters.com; 020 7513 5026; Reuters Messaging: sinead.cruise.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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