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Smith & Williamson unlikely to list before late 2019

David Cobb Full 480
Smith & Williamson co-chief executive David Cobb

Smith & Williamson grew its profits by nearly 16 per cent in the six months to 31 October, but has pushed back a potential stock exchange listing.

In its half year results, published today, the UK investment manager says adjusted operating profits rose 15.8 per cent to £20.5m, compared to £17.7m in the same period a year ago.

Funds under management and advice increased by 6.4 per cent to £17.8bn over the same period a year ago and 12 per cent or £18.8bn year-on-year.

Despite the positive results, the firm says the significant work to upgrade its platform will mean it won’t list before the second half of 2019.

However, it is taking “all the necessary steps” to prepare the business for a listing.

In September S&W first announced plans to list after it reportedly failed to bid for rival firm Rathbones.

But in the results, Smith & Williamson co-chief executive David Cobb says the firm won’t exclude business acquisition plans for 2018.

He also says the company will continue to focus on hiring investment managers and financial planning staff and boost its client-facing services in the regions.

Smith & Williamson co-chief executive Kevin Stopps says: “Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving market, our focus on relationship-led expertise is exceptionally valued by clients and has again delivered strong results.

“Our strategy will allow us to better respond to, and take advantage of, market conditions and opportunities, including value accretive hires or acquisitions further enhancing our position as a leading adviser to private clients and their business interests.”

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