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London’s FTSE 100 experienced a 0.9% decline, settling at 7,582.95 during afternoon trading on Friday. DS Smith, a paper and packaging group, saw positive movement, likely influenced by a rating upgrade from Bank of America Merrill Lynch sitting at the top of the table heading into the close gaining 2.2%. On the negative side of the ledger and sitting at the bottom of the blue chip index is the investment management firm St. James’s Place, according to the Financial Times the firm isstrategizing to raise up to £1 billion by 2030 to acquire businesses from retiring partners, addressing challenges posed by its growing scale and higher interest rates. The allocated funds will aid in the succession planning process within St. James’s Place’s extensive network of 2,622 partner firms, responsible for managing the group’s relationships with its 914,000 clients. Some of these firms include over 50 advisers overseeing up to £2 billion in client assets. Iain Rayner, Chief Operating Officer at St. James’s Place, explained the company’s approach, stating, “We have been thinking about how we increasingly employ equity alongside debt to help with succession planning. Providing continuity of client servicing if and when advisers retire and being able to occasionally move client relationships around the partnership is really important to us.” St. James’s Place operates with a network of 4,800 self-employed financial advisers situated at partner firms, who receive a share of the fees generated from providing financial advice to their clients.
FTSE Bias: Bullish Above Bearish below 7550
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