St James's Place maintains sales growth

UPMARKET wealth manager St James's Place said a 32 per cent increase in new business during 2010 was helped by recovering markets, pushing assets beyond market forecasts to record highs.

The company said in a trading statement that its most closely watched measure of new business, which combines regular and single premiums, increased 32 per cent to 581.8m during the 12 months to December 31.

Analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove had tipped a 28.4 per cent growth in sales.

Funds under management were up 5.6bn to 27bn, beating analyst expectations of around 26.3bn.

"New investments of 4.75bn coupled with the excellent retention of existing client funds and further growth in stock markets have resulted in funds under management reaching an all time high," said chief executive David Bellamy.