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Charles Stanley targets more financial planner hires as funds dip

Charles Stanley has said it plans to continue hiring in financial planners after a dip in equity markets hit its bottom line for the first quarter of the year.

While discretionary funds were up 8 per cent for the year to 31 March 2018, and execution only platform Charles Stanley Direct attracted increased inflows of 17 per cent, overall funds under management have fallen 4.4 per cent since December to £23.8bn.

Net inflows were £0.2bn, but Charles Stanley said these were “more than offset by a general decline in equity market values”, noting that FTSE UK Private Investor Balanced index dropped more than 5 per cent in the quarter.

Chief executive Paul Abberley says: “As we enter our new financial year, our focus remains on growing our higher margin assets. We also intend to build scale in our execution-only platform and invest in our network of financial planners and distribution capabilities.”

As measured by the number of CF30 registered individuals at the firm, Charles Stanley has around 279 advisers, according to data compiled last year by support services provider Threesixity.

In July, Charles Stanley poached three financial advisers and a paraplanner for its offices across London and Birmingham.

It disposed of its Sipp and SSAS arm to Hornbuckle parent Embark Group earlier in the year, and said that the planner hires would be the “first wave” of strengthening its financial planning team.

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