Wealth manager sees funds and profits rise in ‘resilient’ year

Paul Stockton

Rathbone Brothers, the Liverpool-based wealth management company, achieved a “resilient performance” in the year to December 31, 2020.

The firm, based in the iconic Port of Liverpool Building on the city’s waterfront, said total funds under management and administration (FUMA) reached £54.7bn, up 8.5% from £50.4bn the previous year.

This comprised £44.9bn in the Investment Management business, up 4.4%, and £9.8bn in the funds business, up 32.4%.

Total net inflows across the group were £2.1bn, compared with £600m a year ago, representing a growth rate of 4.2% (2019: 1.3%).

Profit before tax for the period was £43.8m, compared with £39.7m in 2019.

Consequently, the board has recommended a final dividend of 47p for 2020, against 45p the previous year, making a total of 72p per share for the year, up from 70p in 2019.

Rathbones said this reflects confidence in the outlook for the business and its strong capital position.

The Port of Liverpool Building

Chief executive, Paul Stockton, said: “Rathbones delivered a resilient performance in an immensely challenging year.

“We continued to deliver a high quality service to clients, whilst prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our employees, advancing our strategy and keeping a close eye on operating costs.

“Funds under management and administration grew by 8.5% to reach £54.7bn at 31 December 2020, reflecting both strong investment performance and growth.

“Underlying profit before tax increased by 4.3% to £92.5m, delivering an underlying operating margin of 25.3% that was consistent with the prior year, despite lower investment markets.”

He added: “As a consequence, the board is announcing a final 2020 dividend of 47p per share, which brings the total dividend to 72p per share, an increase of 2.9% over 2019.

“2020 marks the 11th consecutive year in which we have increased our total annual dividend.”

He said: “Whilst we expect 2021 to remain volatile, our balance sheet is robust with a strong capital position.

“Our near-term focus is to execute our growth strategy, to build our market share, to balance ongoing investment in the business, and to continue to apply strict cost discipline.

“Rathbones will emerge stronger after the challenges of the pandemic begin to subside.”