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Stock of the week: St James’s Place

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Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, picks UK wealth management business, St James’s Place as stock of the week.

This week’s stock of the week is FTSE-100 listed wealth manager St James’s Place (STJ). The firm offers bespoke advice to individuals, trustees and businesses through a network of around 3,500 qualified advisors.

Headquartered in Gloucestershire, the business has 20 regional offices throughout the UK along with recently acquired offices in China and Hong Kong. Recently positioning itself as an international business, its growth is showing no signs of slowing. The group is expected to benefit further from the growing middle class in Asia and the Rowan Dartington business may enhance its position at home.

Full-year results in February were well received and exceeded expectations with funds under management rising 20.5% to £90.7bn and pre-tax profit up 32% to £186.1m. With cash flow also growing at a good rate the company raised the final dividend by 33%, making 42.86 pence for the year. The prospective dividend yield of 5.1% is also good and income growth continues to be very attractive.

The group is well positioned to benefit from the increased demand for financial advice on individual savings; this, combined with an expansion in business into Asian markets, offers investors a solid platform to capitalise from. We continue to recommend the shares as a ‘buy’ for investors willing to accept a medium risk.

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