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St James’s Place: how long can the high fees continue?

St James's Place plaque on door

On an annualised basis, total fee and commission income hit 2.3% of funds under management at St James’s Place in the six months to June 2019. That looks incredibly steep. But continued rapid inflows shows that investors are still happy to pay. How long can this continue?


Funds under management rose 13% to a record £109bn in the first six months of 2019 at St James’s Place (LON: STJ). Not a bad result in a period where investors have been reportedly fleeing actively managed funds in favour of lower risk bonds and lower price passive strategies. Net fund inflows might have been less than the previous year, but at £4.4bn were still nothing to be scorned.

Management has attributed the success to ongoing financial planning requirements of its customers and the fact that “the need for advice is more pronounced in times of uncertainty”. But with a growing number of low-cost investment platforms available to UK investors, it’s a puzzle to us why vast numbers of the population are happy to continue to pay excessive fees to the likes of St James’s Place, for what amounts to largely very basic investment advice.

Our latest review of the investment platforms highlights the rising number of options for investors who…

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