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DB transfer slowdown behind client decline at James Hay

Business-People-Silhouette-Leaving-Walking-700x450.jpgPlatform James Hay has blamed an 11 per cent drop in new clients over the first quarter on a slowdown in the defined benefit transfer market.

The platform had 1,400 new clients over the quarter, 11 per down on the previous three months and 14 per cent lower than the first quarter of last year.

A stock exchange update from James Hay parent IFG Group says: “We believe this reflects the performance of the wider platform market, driven by a slowdown in the DB transfer market, equity market volatility, and adviser focus on factors such as GDPR and Mifid II.”

Assets under administration increased by 9 per cent year-on-year to reach £25.4bn. This was slightly below the Q4 2017 result of £25.5bn.

Advice firm Saunderson House, also owned by IFG, increased assets under advice by 8 per cent year-on-year to £5.1bn.

A potential sale of Saunderson House was withdrawn last month, despite IFG receiving several offers for the business.

The update from IFG says: “The sales process has not had a material effect on new client wins to date although some existing clients deferred making new investments. We may see some knock-on impact in the coming months as the creation of new client pipeline is likely to have been affected to some extent.”

It adds: “However, clarity brought about by the decision not to proceed with the sales process will remove uncertainty for both new and existing clients.”

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