Julia Irvine 20 Dec 2017 03:50pm

S&W working towards market listing in 2019

Top 10 firm Smith & Williamson has reported a rise in group operating income to £130m in the six months to October 2017

This is an increase of 10.7% year on year, which is a faster rate of growth than the 9.9% recorded for the firm’s annual results to 30 April 2017.

Adjusted operating profit was up 15.8%  to £20.5m, again at a faster rate than previously (2016/17 12.8%).

S&W co-chairman Kevin Stopps said that the firm’s focus on relationship-led expertise had once again proved popular with clients and helped the firm to deliver strong results.

“Our strategy will allow us to better respond to, and take advantage of, market conditions and opportunities, including value accretive hires or acquisitions further enhancing our position as a leading adviser to private clients and their business interests.

“We will bring this to life with new programmes for client experience, talent and infrastructure.”

The investment side of the business saw funds under management and advice grow to £20bn, an increase of 6.4% over the six months and 12% year on year. But the spectacular performance came from the £10.7bn funds under administration which grew by 16% in the period and 35% year on year.

All this added up to adjusted earnings per share of 29.8p, up 23.12% year on year.

S&W’s other co-chairman David Cobb confirmed that the firm was still on course for a listing and was taking steps to ensure that it would be creating value for its clients, shareholders and employees.

“This preparation, including the major steps we are taking to upgrade our technology platform, will take time,” he warned, “and we anticipate that we will not be in a position to list before the second half of 2019.”

In August this year, the firm announced that it was in exclusive £2bn merger talks with investment management company Rathbone Brothers.

Three weeks later, the firm announced that the merger was off and it would be looking at the possibility of an IPO.