STM Group Plc (LON:STM), the cross-border financial services provider, has announced a pre-close update for the six months to 30 June 2021 prior to the release of its interim results.
The Group continues to trade in line with management’s expectations for 2021.
Our various trading jurisdictions have performed broadly as expected, with higher than anticipated revenue in relation to our UK workplace pensions business offset by shortfalls on UK SIPP business and on the flexible annuity product. Whilst the gaining of new business revenue remains tougher than anticipated in certain areas, costs have been managed accordingly.
Importantly, three of the four major IT projects relating to the migration to our two core administration systems have now been completed. However, there remains some ongoing development before all anticipated efficiencies will be realised. The final migration project for the Malta business is due to conclude by the end of October. This will mean that all our private pension businesses, be it SIPPs or QROPS, will be on our in-house administration platform, allowing benefits to be realised across all businesses and members for any future upgrades.
In addition, the first half year has seen the completion of the successful integration of the Berkeley Burke businesses that were acquired in August 2020, as well as completing the strategy to exit the Corporate and Trustee Services sector (“CTS”), with the sale of both its Jersey and Gibraltar CTS businesses, building the Group’s cash resources for future M&A opportunities.
We continue to manage the businesses in accordance with Covid-19 government guidelines applicable to each jurisdiction, ensuring that we keep our staff safe whilst maintaining service levels to our customers and other stakeholders.
We are pleased to confirm that we have successfully recruited a new CFO, Nicole Coll. Nicole has spent most of her career in the financial and banking sector with exposure to UK, Eurocentric and American organisations. Nicole, who was previously employed at Bank and Clients PLC as Chief of Finance and Operations, is expected to join us in October allowing plenty of time for an orderly handover.
Over the last couple of years, we have invested in, and significantly improved the structure, control and governance of the Group, and this coupled with the sale of the CTS businesses has allowed us to review and challenge our existing operating model.
As part of this review, the Plc board has agreed to reduce the number of executive directors at Plc level from three to two, with the current role of Chief Operating Officer being made redundant during the second half of 2021. Pete Marr, the existing COO, has agreed to step down in the fourth quarter of 2021 upon the completion of an orderly handover to the two remaining executives.
The focus for the second half of 2021, and going into 2022, is the acceleration of new business revenues. As part of this drive, the savings from the above restructuring will be invested into business development resources, commencing with the creation of a new role, Group Director of Business Development Strategy. This non board role will ensure that the strategy for new business and product initiatives are implemented across the Group, as well as capitalising on cross-selling opportunities.
The second half of 2021 has already seen progress being made in relation to additional distribution through partnership collaborations and the relaunch of our short-term annuity product, both of which will contribute to new business revenue for 2021.
Notice of Results
STM Group expects to announce its interim results on Tuesday 14 September 2021.
Chief Executive, Alan Kentish, and Chief Financial Officer, Therese Neish, will be hosting a remote presentation to review the 2021 Interim Results and prospects at 1.30pm on Wednesday 15 September 2021.
The presentation will be hosted through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company and add to meet STM Group Plc via the following link https://www.investormeetcompany.com/stm-group-plc/register-investor.
For those investors who have already registered and added to meet the Company, they will automatically be invited.
Questions can be submitted pre-event to STM@walbrookpr.com or in real time during the presentation via the “Ask a Question” function.