Strong growth from South Africa has underpinned an increase in business in the first quarter of 2012 for Fairbairn Private Bank. The bank has witnessed a 17% year-on-year increase, which is the strongest opening quarter for new business since the financial crisis commenced in 2008.
Greg Horton, managing director of Fairbairn Private Bank attributes growth to several new multi-million pound client mandates and widened access to the business’s discretionary investment management services, through the inclusion of a new range of collective investment funds.
“New business levels are certainly growing at a pace. While one must always be careful about reading too much into short-term indicators, it is reassuring to see such vibrant new business levels continuing following the very strong growth in our headline earnings in 2011.
"Further evidence of this growth lies in an ongoing year-on-year comparison around the level of assets on our award-winning integrated banking and investment platform, Focus. These had showed an impressive year-on-year increase in the opening quarter of 2011, but they are up again by over 17% year-on-year in the opening quarter of 2012.”
Total assets held in Focus, according to Horton, have grown by over a third since the financial crisis commenced and now approach £1.75bn.
Horton also credits the business’s strong performance to high levels of customer service delivered by his team, which so far this year has seen 87% of new accounts opened resulted from client referrals.
In terms of first quarter growth figures, Horton says the strongest contribution was from the South African operations.
"In 2010 the UK operation posted the strongest total business growth rates, whereas in 2011 Jersey and Isle of Man took their place at the head of the field. It is particularly pleasing to see that while all these locations feature strongly in the opening quarter of 2012, that in line with this diversification, it is now the contribution from our South African colleagues that shows the most significant increase in this year’s opening quarter."
Horton says he expects a similar growth trajectory from its recently opened office in the Middle East.
"With our latest office in the Middle East having just opened in Dubai, we are looking forward to its growing contribution as the year unfolds and in support of the new Basel III regulations, we will be looking to deliver greater capital efficiencies later this year."
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