Rathbones plans £38m equity issue to address pension deficit

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Rathbones has announced a £38m equity issue in its quarterly results to help address its pension deficit.

Chief executive Philip Howell says the collapse in long-term bond yields was a “key feature of the quarter” and had re-emphasised the need for the review of the company’s defined benefit scheme, which had been announced in July.

“We have begun to engage the trustees and affected employees of these schemes with a view to their closure and have today announced a placing, primarily to increase the group’s regulatory capital and also to provide additional financial flexibility.”

The group’s pension deficit was £58.3m at 30 September, almost doubling from £32m at the end of June. At the end of 2015, the group’s pension deficit had been £4.5m.

The group has announced assets under management of £33.2bn in Q3, up 8.5 per cent over the quarter.

Net operating income was £65.9m over the period, up 18.5 per cent from £55.6m at the same period last year.

Net flows over the period totalled £200m.

Howell says the unit trust business had posted particularly strong net inflows of £170m “against a challenging industry backdrop for inflows as a whole”.