St. James’s Place Net Inflows Rise 36% in First Quarter

St. James’s Place Plc, the British wealth manager whose biggest shareholder is Lloyds Banking Group Plc, said first-quarter net inflows rose 36 percent as cash-rich individuals sought higher returns on their savings.

Net inflows climbed to 947 million pounds ($1.5 billion) from 698 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, Cirencester, England-based St. James’s said today in a statement. Funds under management increased 12 percent to 39 billion pounds in that period.

St. James’s Place, which typically advises clients with more than 100,000 pounds to invest, said low interest rates drove investors to search for yields. The FTSE 100 Index, up 8.7 percent in the first quarter, also helped bolster sentiment, said the firm, which gets paid an annual fee for directing assets into funds managed by third parties.

Results were “driven by a number of factors including improved investor sentiment, the sustained low interest-rate environment, the breadth and quality of our investment proposition, high levels of client satisfaction and the growth in adviser numbers,” Chief Executive David Bellamy said in the statement.

St. James’s is the fourth-best performer in the 28-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index this year, rising 25 percent. Lloyds, which holds 37 percent of the firm’s stock, sold a 20 percent stake in the company last month after the share price rose 54 percent in the previous 12 months.

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