Staff cull helps drive Brooks Macdonald profits

Firm cut 50 jobs in January

Brooks Macdonald’s drastic staff cuts earlier this year “delivered  efficiencies” which helped it increase its profit margin by 11.8%.

The wealth manager’s full year results for the year ended 30 June 2019 revealed underlying profit of £21m, up from £18.8m at the end of June 2018. Revenue grew by 7.3% to £107.3m.

Its overall assets under management hit £13.2bn aided by £400m in net new business and £800m from investment performance.

The UK discretionary investment management business saw a 5.1% increase in new flows, taking its AUM to £9.95bn. Overall net new business in its UK investment management business increased 5.4%.

Its bespoke portfolio service and model portfolio service saw increased flows of 7.2% and 14.6% respectively.

However, funds under management by the firm’s international arm reduced by 5.2% over the period to £1.6bn which Brooks said was in part due to the loss of a client-facing team in summer 2018.

Staff cuts ‘deliver efficiencies’

In January the firm cut 50 jobs as part of a streamlining plan which it said at the time would help the group respond to clients’ and advisers’ evolving needs and make it easier for advisers to do business with the firm.

Brooks Macdonald chief executive Caroline Connellan (pictured) said: “The actions we announced in January have started to streamline the business, deliver efficiencies and make Brooks Macdonald easier to do business with. Looking ahead, we expect to deliver improved margins in the medium term by investing in our talent and capabilities to drive growth while continuing to exercise tight cost discipline.”

Brooks Macdonald chairman Alan Carruthers said in the results: “We announced in January measures to streamline our processes and eliminate duplication, driving efficiency and effectiveness through the business. These changes helped us deliver continued profit growth despite the more difficult economic conditions.”

Hiring spree

The company has recently embarked on a hiring programme. It announced on Thursday the relocation of its York office to Leeds and four senior hires to build the team, including a head of northern region and three investment directors who cannot yet be named under contractual obligation.

Earlier this month, Brooks announced it had added three members to its sales team and six senior specialists to its investment teams in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Hampshire, London and Taunton.

Connellan added: “We remain cautious about the short-term outlook given the backdrop of political and macroeconomic uncertainty and its continuing effect on client sentiment. Nonetheless, the fundamental opportunity for Brooks Macdonald remains strong, and we are confident in our positioning and our continued ability to drive sustainable value-enhancing growth over the medium term.”


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