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'Strong performance' at financial services firm

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Kevin Stopps and David CobbKevin Stopps and David CobbFinancial and professional services firm Smith & Williamson has reported strong performance for the financial year, with operating profit up more than 13 percent to £46.2m.

Year-on-year operating income grew by nine percent to £266.7m while funds under management at the company, which is based at Salisbury's Old Library Chambers, have also risen by 6.9 percent year-on-year to £20.1bn.

Kevin Stopps, co-chief executive of the firm, which employs around 1,700 people across the UK, said the group had an ambitious five year client-focused growth strategy which will enable it to profit from the significant opportunities in the wealth management and professional services market.

The growth strategy would be supported by significant investment in new IT systems, continued commitment to attracting, retaining and developing high quality people, and integrated delivery of the group’s comprehensive range of client services.

“This was another year of solid progress for the group and builds on our longstanding position of strength," he said.

"We delivered increased profitability, while also continuing to make material investments in our people and technology to support our future success.

“In the face of ongoing economic and political uncertainties, our performance once again demonstrated the value of our business model and the strength of our client relationships.

"In particular, it underlined the importance of our client-centric approach, through which dedicated and committed individuals deliver high-quality advice to private clients and their business interests.”

Co-chief executive David Cobb added: "“Our five year strategy will help us grow and improve from an existing position of strength by serving our existing clients even better and more efficiently, while also enabling us to attract new clients.

"We are interested in making the right type of bolt-on acquisitions to accelerate our growth plans. However, we will continue to be extremely discerning in our choice of targets as we refuse to dilute the quality of our business and people.

“To execute our longer term growth strategy, we have already announced our intention to prepare for a potential stock market listing.

"This will not take place until we have completed our major investment in new technology platforms, and these are unlikely to be complete before the second half of 2019.”