First half revenues at Suffolk Life owner Curtis Banks climb by 98%

The Suffolk Life offices in Ipswich.
Picture: Phil Morley

The Suffolk Life offices in Ipswich. Picture: Phil Morley - Credit: Archant

Revenues at self-invested personal pension (SIPP) specialist Curtis Banks almost doubled during the first half of 2017, boosted by last year’s acquisition of Ipswich-based Suffolk Life.

Rupert Curtis, group chief executive of Curtis Banks.
Picture: Phil Morley

Rupert Curtis, group chief executive of Curtis Banks. Picture: Phil Morley - Credit: Archant

Curtis Banks, now one of the UK’s leading SIPP providers following a series of acquisitions, said operating revenue for the six months to June 30 came in at £21.4m – an increase of 98% on the same period a year ago.

The figure includes a full six-month contribution from Suffolk Life, which was acquired by Curtis Banks from Legal & General (L&G) towards the end of last year’s first half, in a deal valued at £45m.

The number of SIPPs and the value of assets under administration rose to 74,900 and £23.1bn respectively, also benefiting from strong organic growth, and pre-tax operating profits grew by 85% to £5m.

Rupert Curtis, group chief executive, said: “The first half of 2017 has been extremely active for Curtis Banks and we have made substantial progress against our strategic objectives.

Will Self, chief executive at Suffolk Life.
Picture: Ed Gage

Will Self, chief executive at Suffolk Life. Picture: Ed Gage - Credit: Archant

“Our SIPP numbers continue to grow through high levels of organic growth and we now administer over 75,000 SIPPs with over £23bn of assets. This growth is reflected in our strong financial results, which also show the full benefit of our acquisition of Suffolk Life.”

He added: “The integration of Suffolk Life continues apace and we have established a group management committee and new group brand. We have also made considerable progress in rationalising our office network and delivering efficiencies.

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“As in previous years, we expect performance will be weighted towards the second half of the year and we remain confident about delivering further profitable growth in the future.”

For the 12 months to December 31, 2016, Curtis Banks reported operating revenue of £29.7m, up from £17m the previous year, with pre-tax operating profit rising from £6m to £7.1m.

Curtis Banks’ deal to buy Suffolk Life from L&G was announced in January last year but was not completed until May, following regulatory clearance.

Will Self, chief executive of Suffolk Life and group deputy chief executive, said: “It has now been over a year since Suffolk Life became part of the Curtis Banks group and the acquisition has helped propel the business forward.

“The new group-wide brand which is beginning to be rolled out across the entire organisation both internally and externally, reflects the strong culture and ambition of the entire group, and is a first visible step towards a single market presence and improved product and service proposition.”

Curtis Banks also announced today that Chris Macdonald has been appointed non-executive chairman, taking over the helm from executive chairman and co-founder Chris Banks.

Rupert Curtis thanked Mr Banks “for the determination, spirit and intellect that he has demonstrated consistently since we founded Curtis Banks from a standing start in 2009”.

He added: “Chris’s huge knowledge and experience will not be lost to the group, and I am delighted that he will continue to be involved in the growth of our business in the role of founder and strategic adviser.

“I am equally delighted that Chris Macdonald has agreed to step up to the role of chairman. Chris is uniquely positioned for this role having founded a highly successful listed wealth management business. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1982 and we will all benefit from his considerable experience.”