In its full year’s results for the 12 months preceding 31 December, Curtis Banks reported an increase in pre-tax profits from £6 million to £7.1 million, an 18 percent increase, exhibiting substantial growth.
The major increase in profits owes itself to the sudden increase of SIPP’s the company administered followed the acquisition of fellow SIPP provider Suffolk life from Legal & General for £45m at the start of 2016 (14 January). SIPP numbers rose from 39,236 in 2015 to 72,983 by the end of 2016. Though Curtis Banks said 18% of its growth had been organic.
Assets under administration (AUA) more than doubled with the acquisition, increasing from £9 billion to £18.8 billion.
The induction of the Suffolk Life business, which was of comparable size to Curtis Banks, is an important ongoing project to Curtis Banks.
‘Certain functions of the companies have already become more aligned and integrated, including certain treasury functions, banking, and centralised risk’, in the words of Greg Kingston Head of communications at Suffolk Life. ‘Further alignment will be made throughout the next few months’, he further commented.
As well as the alignment of these administrative processes, further centralisation has been demonstrated by the movement of Suffolk Life’s chief executive, through taking the role of deputy chief executive, at Curtis Banks. He joined the board August 2016, following the acquisition.
The company did incur some one-off costs, among which was listed £500,000 ‘relating to our defence and settlement of a legal action by another business’. The firm said the terms of the settlement are confidential however no further costs are expected after 31 December 2016. It lists an ‘exceptional legal fee’ of £537,000 for 2016.
Last year Curtis Banks also acquired the business of fellow SIPP provider European Pensions Management, which went into administration in June.
Curtis Banks reasoned this stating that they had ‘incurred considerable legal and professional fees’ in connection with the acquisition of European Pension Management’s trade and assets. It lists an acquisition cost of £58,000 for the business. However, the acquisition has brought over a book of around 5,000 SIPPs.