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Asset managers' cost pressures help Alpha to 'most successful' year

The boss of one of the financial services industry's most active consultants said it is benefiting from cost pressures on UK asset managers, but it isn't seeing much impact from new regulations in the sector.
Alpha Financial Markets Consulting, whose clients include Barclays Wealth, Legal & General and Neil Woodford's firm Woodford Investment Management, said operating profit for the year to March rose 65pc. 
In its first set of results since the company listed in London last October, the firm said revenues rose 51.5pc to ?66m in a year chief executive Euan Fraser called "the most successful" in the group's history. 
Mr Fraser said the company, which is currently advising Standard Life Aberdeen on its integration following its ?11bn merger last summer, was busy advising fund houses on cutting costs rather than navigating regulatory changes such as Mifid II.  
"One of the questions asked on our IPO roadshow was are we seeing a Mifid II spike - the answer is not at all," he said.
Asset managers' cost pressures help Alpha to 'most successful' year

Alpha is advising Standard Life Aberdeen on its integration  
"The percentage of revenues from that is very low. Cost pressure is a significant driver of change, our clients are working very hard to preserve their operating margins, leading to a whole host of different projects." 
These include advising companies on how to save money following a merger or showing firms how to outsource different functions, he said. 
The asset management sector is under mounting pressure to slash costs as investors move away from actively managed funds to cheaper, automatic tracker options. Cost efficiencies have been cited in a number of recent tie-ups in the industry, including that of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. 
Mr Fraser said he expects demand for advice to increase later this year as companies prepare for Brexit. The business is considering potential office launches in Zurich, Frankfurt and Hong Kong and plans to grow in the US. 
Shares in Alpha rose 6.5pc on the announcement. 
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