Record quarter for financial planning consultancy
Pareto Financial Planning has enjoyed a bumper start to its latest financial year, with an influx of £50m of client money in the first quarter.
Its performance in the three months to the end of June was its strongest-ever quarter since the Manchester business was founded in 2008.
The growth came from existing clients as well as a major clinical negligence settlement, entrepreneurs investing the proceeds of company sales, and new clients including prominent footballers and entertainers.
Pareto has formed a new specialist department led by chartered financial adviser Marcus Pilkington to advise people receiving compensation arising from clinical negligence cases.
Meanwhile, the business has unveiled plans to move offices to accommodate record staffing levels, with employee numbers up to 53.
Pareto is currently based on St John Street, off Deansgate, its home since 2012, and is in talks over a new HQ.
The firm advises individual and corporate clients across the North West and beyond on all aspects of financial planning, including pensions, investments, protection and employee benefits.
Revenues in the year to March 31, were £4.9m, with strong growth from recurring income. Pareto grew the level of its funds under influence by more than £100m to in excess of £700m.
Managing director John Stevenson said the office move has become necessary because Pareto’s current premises are filled to capacity.
He said: “The nature of our current building means our staff work across different floors. We are keen to bring everyone closer together to further improve efficiency, which can only benefit our clients, and we are hoping to move premises later in the year.
“The team has expanded in the past 12 months, with new advisers, administrators and paraplanners, as well as recruits to our employee benefits team and our portfolio department,” he said.
“We have also strengthened our board with the appointments of Darren Hardy-Dearness to the new role of compliance director and Rory Percival, who served as a technical specialist at the Financial Conduct Authority for over 10 years, as a non- executive director.”
He added: “Last year was one of development of our team and processes. Our focus was on developing the infrastructure to facilitate further growth and enhance the level of service we provide to our expanding client base.
“The early signs for this financial year are good, with recurring income from existing clients now accounting for over 60% of turnover, up 25% on the previous year.
“With a strengthened board in place and growing team, we are well-placed for another successful year and stronger than ever before.”
Pareto also plans to invest in its IT systems over the next 12 months to facilitate further expansion, and aims to add to its network of partnerships with accountancy firms, under which it provides financial planning advice to their business and private clients.