Cost-cutting sees Brooks Macdonald profits rise despite funds fall

Caroline Connellan

Edinburgh-based wealth management firm Brooks Macdonald has published results today showing funds under management fell in the second half of last year amid tough market conditions, but still saw profits rise on the back of cost-cutting measures.

Funds under management stood at £11.9bn at 31 December, down 4.5 per cent over the half year.

However, underlying profit was up 8.1 per cent from £8.3m to £9m, which the firm says was supported by “ongoing cost discipline”

Despite the drop in FUM, fee income grew, and overall revenue was up 7.7 per cent over the six months.

At the beginning of 2019, Brooks formalised a “streamlining” plan that will see 50 jobs be cut.

Chief executive Caroline Connellan said: “We delivered a good first half with growth in underlying profit against a backdrop of difficult market conditions and weaker client sentiment, caused by macroeconomic and political uncertainty.

“December in particular was a challenging month but our UK investment management business has maintained a good level of net new business
over the period, reflecting the strength of our client and adviser relationships.

“In January, we announced measures to drive efficiency and effectiveness in the business, streamlining processes, building a scalable operating model and making Brooks Macdonald easier to do business with. These changes will deliver material cost savings, which we will start to benefit from in the second half, supporting medium-term margin improvement.”