* David Bellamy to step down at the end of 2017
* To be replaced by current CFO Andrew Croft
(Recasts to merge separate stories, adds detail from statement,
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, Feb 28 British wealth manager St.
James's Place said Chief Executive David Bellamy would
step down at the end of the year after more than a decade, while
higher costs weighed on cash earnings and sent the firm's shares
On Bellamy's watch the company, which provides a range of
financial advice and services to investors, has more than
quadrupled client funds to over 75 billion pounds ($93.2
billion), it said on Tuesday.
Bellamy will leave his role at the end of 2017 but stay on
in an advisory capacity, taking the title of non-executive
chairman of its international operations.
He will be replaced by current Chief Financial Officer
Andrew Croft, who in turn will be replaced as CFO by Craig
Gentle, currently Chief Risk Officer.
"The very well regarded CEO David Bellamy will step down at
year end after 11 years as CEO and be replaced by equally highly
regarded CFO Andy Croft. Importantly it's an internal
appointment which we view as key," said JPMorgan analyst Ashik
Musaddi in a note to clients.
Musaddi said the results beat consensus for new business
profits and operating profits, although operating cash earnings
were a slight miss, weighed by the cost of expanding operations
and improving the firm's infrastructure.
Shares in St James's Place were down 3 percent at 1056p by
St James's Place said operating cash earnings rose to 226
million pounds from 195.6 million pounds, missing some estimates
after higher costs including those associated with hiring more
advisors and expanding into Asia.
Operating profits on a European embedded value (EEV) basis,
which discounts future cashflows and is one of the main gauges
of performance, rose 2 percent to 673.6 million pounds, up from
660.2 million pounds in 2015.
The firm said it would pay a final dividend of 20.67 pence a
share, up 20 percent, to take the total dividend for the year up
18 percent to 33 pence a share.
($1 = 0.8050 pounds)
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Maiya Keidan/Keith Weir)