Big ambitions at Brewin Dolphin as new strategy pays off

One of the North East's largest independently owned wealth management firms, Brewin Dolphin, has seen its adjusted profits before tax grow 22%

William Baker Baker, head of Brewin Dolphin's Newcastle office
William Baker Baker, head of Brewin Dolphin's Newcastle office

One of the North East’s largest independently owned wealth management firms, Brewin Dolphin, has seen its adjusted profits before tax grow 22%.

In preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending September 29, 2013, the group, which aims to become the leading provider of personal discretionary wealth management in the UK, reported profits had leapt from £42.9m to £52.3m.

The firm, which has more than 30 offices throughout the UK and Channel Islands, and a major presence in Newcastle, also increased its total managed funds to £28.2bn, up by 8.9% from a year ago.

Strong growth was also seen in Brewin’s discretionary funds under management, which rose by £3.1bn, or 17%, over the last year from £18.2bn to £21.3bn.

A 5.3% rise in the firm’s total income was likewise seen during the period, going from £269.5m to £283.7m.

Chief executive David Nicol said, “Our priorities are clear.

“They are to reinforce our high standard of service to clients and ensure an improved return to shareholders.

“Discretionary Investment Management is currently the core of our business model and our mission is to provide a compelling and consistent offering, relevant to all our clients.

“Over the past decade we have evolved from a stockbroker into a private client investment manager.

“Our evolution must continue as we strive to become the leading provider of personal discretionary wealth management in the UK.”

Now a well-established name in its field, Brewin Dolphin is two and a half years into the transformation and growth strategy it announced in 2011.

The strategy has two main priorities - continued strong growth and increased efficiency - both of which have been reflected in the group’s financial performance.

In May this year, Brewin Dolphin raised £38.6m through an equity placing, improving its capital strength and investment capacity, allowing it to capitalise on its competitive position and drive future growth in both earnings and shareholder returns.

A report accompanying the latest results said personal finance services remained a growth market, with good long-term prospects.

“There is an increasing demand, as society becomes more self-reliant in specific areas such as retirement provision and long-term care, as well as savings in general,” it said.

“In addition, the policy responses to the 2008 downturn have benefited those invested in risk assets such as equities and property and this has helped to create a higher number of investors.”

The firm, the report said, would “grow and prosper” through a simplified, scalable business model.

Brewin Dolphin employs over 350 people in Newcastle, where one of its largest offices is based, providing much of the company’s administrative functions.

William Baker Baker, head office at Newcastle and Brewin Dolphin regional director for the North, said, “These are very strong results and we are proud of the part that Newcastle has played a part in what has been a challenging year for our industry.

“We are in a growth market with good long term prospects and are very much looking forward to the year ahead for both our clients and our business here in the North East.”

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