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St. James's Place posts record third-quarter funds under management

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By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – British wealth manager St. James’s Place <SJP.L> said funds under management rose 3.2% to hit a record high in the third quarter, driven by net inflows of client cash into its pension products.

Total funds at the end of September were 112.8 billion pounds ($146.35 billion), up from 109.3 billion pounds at the end of June. Net inflows were 2.1 billion pounds, of which 1.5 billion pounds was into pensions.

“In what remains an uncertain external environment, these figures once again highlight the resilience of our business model,” Chief Executive Andrew Croft said in a statement on Tuesday.

Despite being buffeted by political uncertainty in its core British market, as the country looks to negotiate its exit from the European Union, Croft said the company continued to benefit from underlying demand for its face-to-face financial advice.

The year has not been without its challenges, however. The company withdrew a large investment mandate from embattled fund manager Neil Woodford only after his flagship fund was suspended in June.

Client retention remained strong at 96%, it said, only slightly below the 96.2% seen in the same period a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7708 pounds)

(Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Sinead Cruise)

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