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SJP platform upgrade bill hits £200m after drawdown migration

Arrows hit target.St James’s Place has migrated drawdown business onto its new platform as the cost of its multi-year upgrade project passes £200m.

SJP has now moved around £40bn of its nearly £100bn in total assets onto the Bluedoor system after migrating its drawdown book in May, it has revealed in financial statements this morning.

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of new business is now written on Bluedoor and last month the firm ran a pilot to move pre-retirement pension clients onto the new administration platform ahead of more migration later this year.

SJP describes the drawdown migration as a “significant milestone” in the project to revamp its back-office infrastructure. Isa and unit trust business was transferred as far back as 2015.

In the six months to the end of June 2018, the firm spent another £15.2m on the upgrade, compared with the £8.2m it spent in the first six months of 2017.

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SJP’s accounts this morning show a £201m “operational readiness prepayment” related to the platform’s development by the firm’s outsourced administration provider.

The statement reads: “Whilst we have now ‘broken the back’ of this complex project, we recognise there is still much work to do.

“With the final key migrations being planned, we expect heightened activity levels through the rest of 2018 and into 2019 in order to complete the project, and reflecting increasing levels of dual-running cost as more business is migrated.”

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