Gross inflows fell over 5% to £14.3bn (2019: £15.1bn), with net inflow of funds under management of £8.2bn (2019: £9bn), according to the firm’s annual results published today.
The wealth management giant also confirmed widely expected job losses. According to the financial results, a streamlining of the business meant a loss of around 200 roles.
SJP’s EEV operating profit fell to £919m (2019: £952m) in 2020 with underlying cash basic earnings per share falling to 49.6 pence (2019: 51.4 pence per share).
The firm blamed the fall in operating performance on “Covid-19 related restrictions” in the second and third quarters as SJP’s operations and performance were “inevitably disrupted” by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and social distancing.
The firm also highlighted that the outcome for the year was hit by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy. SJP’s contribution to the levy in 2020 was £36.7m, 33% higher than the previous year.
Despite the fall in gross inflows, funds under management increased just over 10% to £129.3bn (2019: £117bn).
Despite the fall in inflow and operating profit, IFRS profit after tax rose by a considerable 79% to £262m (2019: £146.6m).
According to the results, SJP now has 4,338 advisers across the partnership, 1.9% more than at the end of 2019.
Following the results, the SJP board has proposed a final full year dividend for 2020 of 38.49 pence per share. This is a decrease from the 51.4 pence per share dividend announced for 2019.
At the start of 2020, the SJP board made the decision to withhold 11.22 pence of the 2019 final dividend. As the firm has not had to use these funds it has decided to pay this withheld amount as a further interim dividend during the first quarter.
Andrew Croft, CEO, said that the group looks to the future with confidence. He added that the firm has ambitions to deliver growth in new business of around 10% per year, taking funds under management to over £200bn by the end of 2025.
He said that the “external environment remains challenging” for the firm, but as Covid-19 restrictions ease, the firm is “hopeful there will be an economic recovery and we will see a return to more normal growth in new client investments.”
He added: “We believe that the demand for trusted advice and helping individuals’ financial wellbeing, is stronger than ever.”