ST JAMES’S Place, the wealth management business majority owned by Lloyds Banking Group, hiked its dividend by a third yesterday as it continues to defy the downturn and attract new business.
The firm said yesterday that the funds it manages grew by £3.3 billion last year, a 10 per cent hike on 2010’s figure, taking its total to £28.5bn despite market conditions that were “far from helpful”.
Chief executive David Bellamy said most of the new business came from existing clients and word-of-mouth recommendations. “We build long-term relations with our distribution channels and our clients. The success of this business will be about the attention we pay to our clients.”
St James’s made pre-tax profits of £109.7 million, up 30 per cent on the year before. The firm proposed a final dividend of 4.8p, up 21 per cent, taking the total to 8p for the year, 33 per cent higher than in 2010.
It also said it was appointing former Sunday Telegraph editor Baroness Wheatcroft as a non-executive director.