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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a605739

Pritchards boost helps WH Ireland assets hit £1.5 billion

by Dylan Lobo on Jul 20, 2012 at 07:57

Pritchards boost helps WH Ireland assets hit £1.5 billion

WH Ireland’s assets under management breached the £1.5 billion mark as the firm cemented its acquisition of Pritchard Stockbrokers.

In the six months to the end of May assets under management rose from £1.36 billion to £1.55 billion.

Turnover at the firm, which is led by chief executive Paul Compton (pictured), was 10.5% higher at £12.6 million year-on-year, while pre-tax profit slipped from £0.71 to £0.19 million as the firm absorbed the costs associated with the Pritchards acquisition.

The group’s financial position remained strong, with net assets of £12.6 million and liquid cash exceeding £5 million.

The review period was dominated by the acquisition of Pritchard, which saw the group acquire 8,000 clients from the troubled broker in February in a £500,000.

The deal was valued at around £400 million at the time based on the non-cash assets under management relating to the clients. WH Ireland expects its full potential to be realised in the second half.

Chairman Rupert Lowe told the market: ‘The strategic objective of consolidation and economies of scale remains key to our growth, albeit investment costs in relation to the integration and onboarding of the former Pritchard clients and additional staff have outweighed the commissions earned in this initial period.

‘The majority of the non-cash client assets have now been transferred into our custodial control and so I expect commission levels to begin to reflect this in the second half of the year.’

The acquisition increased WH Ireland’s regional office network to 19.

Elsewhere, the group’s corporate broking arm won 13 clients to lift the number of clients on its books to 69. The firm said it was continuing to win clients at a rate of one a week since the half-year ended.

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