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St James&#39s Place &#39not looking to multi-tie&#39

St James&#39s Place Capital is hoping the polarisation review will bring further opportunities for gap-filling but is not looking to multi-tie, the group reveals in its half-year results.

New business figures for the first half of the year, which were unveiled last week, show that equivalent premium income was up by 21 per cent to £106.9m from £88.4m.

Single-premium unit trust business was down by 7 per cent to £187.5m from £200.8m while pension business rose by 65.2 per cent to £36m from £21.85m. Sales of Clerical Medical stakeholder plans of

£1.2m are included in the figures.

The number of partners in the group grew to 1,092 from 1,050. The results show it has recruited 20 former Equitable Life salespeople.

Assets under management were up by 7 per cent to £6.1bn from

£5.7bn. Profits from core business increased by 15 per cent to £45.8m from £39.8m. Life sales were up by 12 per cent to

£52m from £46.4m.

The group says it is willing to sell its 23 per cent share in the Life Assurance Holding Corporation if it receives a substantial bid.

Chief executive Mike Wilson says: “To see 21 per cent growth in new business in difficult market conditions is very pleasing. Unit trust sales are only down by 7 per cent when the industry was down significantly. We are gap-filling where we can but we are happy with the current position on polarisation.”

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