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Wealth manager innovates

Brewin Dolphin invests in tech to reach clients

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin is investing in innovative ways of reaching clients including screen-based interaction.

A new online client portal and a low-cost planning and investment advice service were among those introduced or expanded during the year.

WealthPilot is delivered by qualified advisers over the phone, by Skype or face-to-face. Investment to date has been modest, but is being introduced beyond London into the branch network, initially in Manchester and more recently in Edinburgh.

David Nicol, pictured, chief executive, said: “Changing consumer habits, market dynamics, technological innovation and competitor activity mean the need for change and improvement is continuous.”

The company announced that adjusted profit before tax for the year exceeded the previous 12 monhths, increasing by 10.7% to £77.5 million. Statutory profit before tax grew by 18.9% to £68.5m.

The full year dividend is increased by 9.3% to 16.4p (2017: 15p), with a final dividend of 12p per share (2017: 10.75p per share) an increase of 11.6%.

Marc Wilkinson, regional director for Scotland, said: “It’s been a strong year for Brewin Dolphin in Scotland. Glasgow has performed particularly well, largely driven by the city’s independent financial adviser (IFA) market, while Edinburgh has benefitted from increased demand for our financial planning offering. Dundee and Aberdeen have been steady, as the latter continues to recover from the oil price downturn of 2014. Meanwhile, our specialist corporate exits team has also performed well, with entrepreneurs increasingly looking for more diversification in their asset portfolios.

“All of our business channels have been robust, as we provide more services to our existing customer base and bring in new, wealthier clients. Our pipeline remains strong, but there are undoubtedly headwinds approaching – a fact reflected by the return of volatility to financial markets over the past 12 months. We continue to attract good people with a broad range of skills and remain on the look-out for new talent as our Scottish business grows.”

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