WH Ireland Swings To Profit Amid "Benign Markets"; Finance Boss Departs

LONDON (Alliance News) – WH Ireland Wednesday said it swung to an annual pretax profit, boosted by what Chief Executive Richard Killingbeck described as “more benign markets” for the first time since the financial crisis struck in 2008.

The wealth manager also said it received regulatory approval for its new Isle of Man office, which expands its private wealth management business.

WH Ireland, which has a corporate broking division, said Finance and Operations Director Alan Kershaw has stepped down from the board and will leave the company at the end of February. WH Ireland said Kershaw’s departure was the result of a “mutual agreement” and that it will soon be in a position to appoint a successor.

WH Ireland said it received the necessary regulatory approval from the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission to launch its Isle of Man office, which marks an “important strategic expansion” for its private wealth management business. The new office will be led by David Bushe, Gary Colley and Will Corrin, who will report directly to Killingbeck.

WH Ireland swung to a GBP1.7 million pretax profit in the year to November 30, 2013, from a GBP200,000 pretax loss the year before, buoyed by growth in both of its divisions as revenue increased by 18% to GBP29.7 million.

The private wealth management division’s revenue increase to GBP18.0 million from GBP14.4 million, while the corporate broking division reported a 21% increase to GBP8.5 million.

Killingbeck was optimistic on the company’s start to the new financial year.

“The current year has started well and the number of corporate clients that we advise has risen further, which is driving a good pipeline of corporate transactions. Our assets under management and administration have continued to grow, boosted by stronger markets,” he said.

The company increased its final dividend to 1.5 pence from 0.5 pence. It declared no interim dividend in either 2013 or 2012.

WH Ireland shares were Wednesday quoted at 121.00 pence, down 1.50 pence, or about 1.2%.

By Samuel Agini; samagini@alliancenews.com; @samuelagini

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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 EN

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