St James's Place (SJP) is nearing the acquisition of one of the largest privately-owned IFA firms in the Asia region, in what its chief executive said could represent the first of several moves into expatriate jurisdictions.
The vertically integrated wealth manager, which was previously part-owned by Lloyds Banking Group, said the acquisition of the 55-adviser The Henley Group is subject to regulatory approval and should be complete within the next six weeks.
The Henley Group has three offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai and manages around £400m in client funds.
SJP chief executive David Bellamy (pictured) said: "This is the first time we have gone into something like this but it is English advisers advising UK expats. Henley has around 3% market share. If it goes well, we may well look at other expat jurisdictions and see if we can do the same thing."
"There is no reason why this should not be the start of something."
SJP today reported operating profits for 2013 of almost £463m, up 26% compared to the previous year.
However, it said its distribution business made a £6.1m loss in the same period, compared to a 2012 profit of £5.3m.
The result reflects higher expenses in 2013 associated with the strong increase in adviser numbers, the firm said.
St James's Place is also aiming to establish its first regional academy in the North West of England in the second half of this year.
Bellamy said: "The other region we are looking at is the North West of England to introduce our academy. The academy is in its third year now but it is very London-based and we have decided that, this year, as well as maintaining our London focus, we are going to establish our first regional academy."
Read more stories in St James's Place HERE.
Less environment, more governance threatens to undermine firms' green credentials
Evidence your compliance
Quarter of single pensioners dependent on state