Upbeat Smith & Williamson looks for more growth in Bristol as city firms power ahead

March 3, 2015

National accountancy firm Smith & Williamson has said it expects “significant growth” over the next few years in Bristol following a strong recovery by businesses in the city.

The positive outlook came as the firm, which has a 170-strong team based in its Bristol office, reported half-year operating profits up 14% to £19.1m. The growth was achieved on a 6% rise in operating profits to £103.3m.

Smith & Williamson said the results for the six months October 31 reflected strong national growth in both its investment management & banking division (up 11%) and its tax & business services division (up 10%).

This picture had been mirrored in Bristol, according to Mike Lea, pictured, its managing tax partner in the city.

“The market for business and private client services has picked up considerably over the last 12 months in Bristol as well as across the South West,” he said.

“Some of our clients have become increasingly ambitious and many are pressing ahead with their expansion plans.

“We look forward to growing our Bristol office significantly in the coming years in line with our clients’ requirements while continuing to increase our market share.”

The firm said the interim results were built on a solid performance in the previous year.

The operating income and adjusted operating profit figures set new records for the business, while funds under management (up 4% at £15.3bn) and earnings per share (up 16% to 28.7p for the six-month period) were also at all-time highs.

Additionally, Smith & Williamson Fund Administration now acted for funds totalling more than £4bn in aggregate, it said.

Mr Lea added: “We are delighted to have had a strong first half, putting us in a healthy position for the full 2014/15 year.

“We are in a unique position for a firm of our size, with the skills to manage the financial affairs of private clients and their business interests across investment management, tax and the full range of accountancy services.”

Partner and head of the Bristol investment management, John Erskine, added: “Our success is based on the strength of our client relationships and the quality of our people.

“As ever, we are indebted to our clients and professional contacts for their continued support and to the vital contribution made to our success by all our colleagues across the business.”


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