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St James&#39s enjoys final-quarter fillip

St James&#39s Place saw new business rise by 24 per cent in the final quarter of 2003 despite a 4 per cent fall for the whole year.

Investment new business leapt by 44 per cent to £26.1m annual premium equivalent in the last three months while protection business was up by 32 per cent to £7.5m. New pension business fell by 8 per cent to £12.3m.

Total new business over 2003 was down to £148.8m from £154.7m. New investment business fell by 3 per cent to £79.8m from £82.5m in 2002 while new pension business dropped by 15 per cent to £44.1m from £51.8m.

But there was a 22 per cent increase in new protection business to £24.9m from £20.4m after St James&#39s Place signed on with a panel of protection providers in January last year.

The firm had 1,124 advisers at the end of 2003, up by 2 per cent from 1,101 at the end of the previous year.

Chief executive Mike Wilson says: “We are delighted to announce that the substantial growth of new business seen in September continued throughout the fourth quarter, resulting in long-term savings business for the quarter being up by 24 per cent. Particularly pleasing was the 44 per cent growth in investment business.

“Highlights for the year include a 22 per cent increase in protection business, strong growth in wealth management services and funds under management up by £2bn at £7.9bn.”

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