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Categories:Advisers

Lloyds looks to sell stake in St James's Place

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David Bellamy 480

Lloyds Banking Group is set to sell its 60 per cent stake in St James’s Place in a bid to raise £1bn and boost the bank’s capital.

The Sunday Times reports the sale has been discussed with SJP’s management, with chief executive David Bellamy (pictured) said to be keen on the move.

The bank’s stake in SJP could be placed with investors in the market before the end of the year, though it may be that Lloyds waits until early next year to allow SJP’s profits to be consolidated in the group accounts.

Lloyds strategy director Antonio Lorenzo is leading the plans to sell the stake in SJP, according to the report, which would reassure the FSA over the bank’s capital position. Lloyds has clashed with the regulator over plans to start paying dividends to shareholders for the first time since the financial crisis.

SJP shares closed on Friday at 398p, valuing the firm at £2bn.

Sources told The Sunday Times a sale was “not imminent” but was being actively considered.

A Lloyds spokesman says: “SJP is a good business that is performing well and we are comfortable with our shareholding.”

SJP declined to comment.

Last week SJP reported funds under management have increased to £32.8bn, from £26.7bn as at September last year. Total new business for the nine months to 30 September rose by 6 per cent from £489.5m to £519.5m.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Who but another bank or Life company would take on a multitied sales force?

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  • RDR! Quick dump everything giving financial advice boys, the bank can`t afford it our accountants tell us.

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  • RDR will very much benefit St. James Place: so many are leaving the business of giving financial advice because they can't make the qualifications and can't cope with the compliance, which is too costly and time consuming in many instances, and the ones remaining will also be aware of the problems.

    So, they will join businesses that look likely to assist with dealing with those problems, and St. James Place is right there; trading well, and offering in time a buy-out when their people eventually want to go.

    I'm an IFA and staying so, but many will take the practical route of going tied, and their clients will in the main stay with them.

    Lloyds probably knows this too - or they should do - so hope that by selling around this time they will get a good price, or prices if they drip them into the market over time.

    My dilemma is do I buy now or wait in the hope that the Lloyds holding will create an overhang and pull the price back some? However I resolve the issue, I will be buying in anticipation of a good return over a shorter term holding period.

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  • ChurnerSaurusRex

    The ambulance chasers could make a mint out of adverts aimed at their 'clients'.

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  • It does make a mockery of some of the other valuations in the market at the moment - organisations with less than a tenth of the AUM asking for a quarter to half of the value of SJP.

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