Walker Crips recruitment drive remains in first gear following record half-year profit.
In an interim update covering the six months to 30 September, the private client stockbroker registered a pretax profit of £7.7 million versus £0.8 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The figure was flattered by a one-off gain of £10 million on the disposal of Walker Crips Asset Managers in April. Before these exceptional items the firm posted an operating loss of £0.7 million, while revenues fell 17% to £8.8 million.
Following the review period Walker Crips, which is headed by chief executive Rodney Fitzgerald (pictured), sold its corporate finance business Keith, Bayley, Rogers, adding £270,000 to a cash balance which stood at £7 million at the end of September, almost double the £3.4 million in the previous year, giving it plenty of clout to attract talent.
Since the turn of its financial year Walker Crips has attracted a dozen advisers, including a six-strong team from Ashcourt Rowan, and the group is on the lookout for more wealth professionals in its bid to grow its investment management division.
Walker Crips chairman David Gelber told the stockmarket this morning: ‘The depressed market conditions of recent years show no signs of abating, as fragile investor confidence stutters in the face of Euro and market uncertainty. However, your board is confident that the group is well positioned to benefit from any longer term improvement in market activity.
He added: ‘The group has been implementing a strategy to refocus and build its investment management division. This process is now well advanced. We are very encouraged that twelve advisers, along with their clients, have joined the company since the beginning of the financial year bringing with them substantial new revenue streams, most of which will take effect in the second half of the year. Further recruitment is in prospect.’