Smith & Williamson improves profits, but next year tougher

SMITH & WILLIAMSON’S investment and accounting arms delivered strong growth during 2014/15.

The top ten firm posted an 8% rise in fees to £215.1m for the y/e 30 April 2015, from £199.1m. Adjusted operating profit was £41.1m, up 14.2% from £36m. Funds under management climbed 14.8% to £16.3bn, from £15bn.

“Against the backdrop of an improving UK economy, we have continued to evolve our offering to meet the changing needs of our clients, while also maintaining careful control of costs and we look to the future with confidence,” said Kevin Stopps, co-chief executive and managing partner of tax and business services.

However, the firm predicts that profits will be impacted this year by investments it has made in people and infrastructure.

“As a result, we are well placed to take full advantage of future opportunities and are committed to continue investing in our people, infrastructure and business development to ensure we capitalise on our current favourable position,” said David Cobb, co-chief executive and head of investment management and banking.

“At the same time, we recognise that this investment is likely to have an impact on profits in the current year.”

The firm said it will continue to focus on financial services, while provide private clients with business services. Its ‘family office’ services, later life planning and entrepreneurs have been identified as key areas of focus and investment over the coming years.

Smith & Williamson sits in eighth place in the Accountancy Age Top 50+50 Survey of firms, sponsored by Wolters Kluwer.

Pictured (l-r): Kevin Stopps and David Cobb

Related reading