St. James's Place Tumbles as CEO Bellamy Announces Departure

St. James’s Place Plc fell the most in eight months after the U.K. wealth manager said Chief Executive Officer David Bellamy will step down after 11 years at the helm and reported cash holdings that missed analysts’ estimates.

Chief Financial Officer Andrew Croft will take over as CEO at the end of 2017, the company said Tuesday. Bellamy, 63, will stay on in an advisory role and non-executive chairman of the company’s new international operations. The shares fell as much as 7.2 percent, the most since June 27.

“Because of the momentum and strength of the business, we are taking the opportunity to invest more strongly in Asia, in the Rowan Dartington business, and in recruitment,” Bellamy said in a telephone interview, when asked about the company’s cash reserves. “We are driving the business on for the next 10 or 15 years.”

Bellamy, who has been with the company 26 years, said he will work for two to three days a week in his new role. While the plan is to focus on the Asia business, discussions with the regulators in the Middle East are still ongoing, he said.

St. James’s Place reported record net inflows of 6.8 billion pounds in 2016, boosting funds under management to 75.3 billion pounds. Full-year operating profit on an embedded-value basis increased 2 percent to 673.6 million pounds, and the dividend was raised by 20 percent to 20.67 pence per share.

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