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Smith & Williamson IPO dependent on market conditions

Smith & Williamson is still committed to its public listing but says any plans are dependent on future market conditions.

The group is still planning to float no earlier than the second half of 2019.

Smith & Williamson co-chief executive Kevin Stopps says: “The decision whether we do the IPO can only be taken at the relevant time. There is so much uncertainty with Brexit coming up and what might happen in the markets that you can’t make a decision today.

He adds: “If we want to look at acquisitions greater than £100m then we need access to outside capital and that is what the stock market provides.”

The investment manager also ruled out any future merger plans.

Merger talks between Smith & Williamson and Rathbones collapsed last September. The deal fell through after Tilney made a bid to buy Smith & Williamson.

Stopps says: “Part of our strategy is to have inorganic growth, which means we may acquire businesses but we are not interested or talking to any potential merger partner.”

In its annual results published today, Smith & Williamson reported a 13.8 per cent increase in adjusted operating profit to £46.2m, up from £40.6m a year ago.

Funds under management and advice increased 6.9 per cent to £20.1bn over the year to 30 April.

The group’s operating income grew 9 per cent to £266.7m.

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