Mattioli Woods plans further Leicester integration

Pension & wealth management revenues booming, Leicester firm eyes prime city centre site

A year ago pension specialists Mattioli Woods set up a partnership with Gateway sixth form college, offering two-year placements to 24 students to include a day a week training within the company. Now they’ve announced plans to move their group headquarters back to the heart of the city.

This integration ties with chief executive Ian Mattioli’s vision to expand the business, return to his family’s Leicester roots and ease recruitment problems. The expansion plans for the growing company are, Mattioli says, ambitious.

Government changes to pensions are driving the company’s plans. “Almost everybody with any sort of assets or pension will need financial advice following these changes,” Bob Woods, chair of Mattioli Woods told the Investment Chronicle at the beginning of the year.

When he says any sort of assets or pension, he really means significant ones. The company, currently based in Enderby but intending to occupy the vacant lot where New Walk Centre once stood, says it works with 6,000 clients. Since it holds assets worth over £5bn, the average is over £800,000 per customer. Which is rather more than most people’s pension pots.

Unsurprisingly, Mattioli Woods’ core wealth management and pension services target the higher end of the market. That includes “controlling directors and owner-managed businesses, professionals, executives and affluent retirees”. Business is booming. Revenues were up 23.4% to £16.59m for the six months to end November 2014. And though the company has made acquisitions, and is committed to more, its organic revenue growth is strong too—19.8% for the half-year.

Sales have more than doubled over the past five years. Profits, as the chart below shows, are up 20% over the same period.

 

There’s no doubt that Mattioli Woods has plans to go from small to big. But what does big mean in this sector? Market capitalisation, the current share price multiplied by the number of shares in issue, provides some sense of scale. Mattioli Woods’ market cap is £141m. That compares with £5.5bn for Hargreaves Lansdown and £5.1bn for St James’s Place, two giants of the industry. Charles Stanley is closer, with £191m.

One of the group’s priorities is to maintain capacity to take advantage of growing demand. That means staff, skilled and confident enough to relate to high-net-worth clients. Total headcount for the group was 378 last year and it has plans to extend its graduate recruitment programme. It also hopes that the influx of Gateway students with the “right skills, experience and values” will assist recruitment.

Assuming planning permission is granted for the office space, apartments and ground floor shops on the New Walk site, work is expected to start before the end of this year. The new tenants could be in place towards the beginning of 2017.

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