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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a636574

How wealth managers' profits have fared during the squeeze

by Sarah Miloudi on Nov 23, 2012 at 07:01

How wealth managers' profits have fared during the squeeze

Wealth managers and execution-only stockbrokers have managed to maintain profit margins during the squeeze, according to Compeer's third quarter update.

Rather than being clipped, Compeer said wealth managers typically increased their pre-tax profit margins by 28.6%, while execution only stockbrokers saw a 43.6% rise.

This is on the back of quarter-on-quarter revenue growth, Compeer said, while the value of assets in the sector hit a new high of £515 billion.

But while assets trended upwards, trading volumes tailed off during the last three months, a trend now in its second consecutive quarter.

According to the latest data trading volumes fell from 4.71 million to 4.53 million, with collectives, CFDs and spreadbets all clocking up double-digit falls.

The Apcims Compeer Index, which tracks private client activity on the London Stock Exchange, also fell, though the drop was more marginal, from 193 to 191.

Fixed income still popular 

Compeer's quarterly update also looked at asset allocation trends within the sector.  It found that fixed income has remained a top choice for investors - a view backed by the Wealth Manager Quarterly survey - despite value making the investment case for equities look more compelling than credit.

Over the stretch looked at by Compeer the value of UK fixed interest purchases was £998 million, more than three times the value of sells.

UK equities were the most traded, though purchase content fell from 51% to 47% during 2012's third quarter, reflecting investors' cautious mood.

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