Last month St James’s Place offered a reduced charge for their long term clients who have been with them for over ten years.
I would not go as far as saying that they are being awarded for their own naivety. But the detail highlighted in this Financial Times article demonstrates that a number of clients feel the charging structure presented to them by St James’s Place partners is not clear, fair and misleading.
My own experiences as a qualified IFA for decades who has spent many an hour speaking to St James’s Place when conducting pension and investment transfers, only to come away feeling three times as confused as before the phone calls. One thing is for sure when transferring assets away from St James’s Place, is that they make the task of an Independent Financial Adviser ever so easy when demonstrating why a client is better off moving away from St James’s Place.
What I was able to take away from the many calls with St James’s Place, specifically in relation to their charging structure, is how horrified I am that they get away with these charges for providing restricted advice and also how disappointed I am that investors are willing to go along with these horrendous charges. In the FT article linked above, one client said, “it was never entirely clear” and a former SJP adviser said “SJP advisers do not understand it either”.
If it has not been made clear enough, St James’s Place are not independent financial advisers, they are a restricted advice firm with a limited fund range.
The mask is starting to slip with many smart investors fleeing wiping £3.8bn off their value, and it will take some new captain at the helm to steer St James’s Place through the muddy waters they have churned up for decades.
Would I want the role as CEO of St James’s Place, I think the question should be could you turn this ship around, the answer would be, yes, but would I want to? is a different kettle of fish, one thing is for sure, it would be a million miles from where it is now.
One of the many challenges St James’s Place have is their extortionate charging structure, and if they adopt a clear, fair and not misleading reducing charging structure like ours, they will surely loss a number of St James’s Place partners that have had it too good for too long, you could argue that many St James’s Place partners would have a financial and for a small number of partner a moral dilemma to remain with St James’s Place, for those that do remain would they be willing to help steer the rudderless HMS St James’s Place in the right direction, somehow I think it is a lost cause.
Then there is the consistent under performing of St James’s Place funds, St James’s Place figures show that 41 per cent of UK clients’ assets under management were in funds that delivered “insufficient value” last year. Put that another way, that is £79bn of assets under management not offering value to the investor.
Feeling locked in with St James’s Place
Feeling trapped or locked in by St James’s Place
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One thing i can assure you, we do not not hold St James’s Place shares in our Global share portfolio.