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Financials 2017: Pensions boutique Sackers records 16% fall in PEP as revenue static

Turnover at boutique pensions firm Sacker & Partners has slowed after last year’s strong growth, with average profit per equity partner (PEP) dropping to 794,000, 16% less than the previous year.

This year, Sackers also recorded stagnant turnover and a 5% fall in net income from £13.3m to £12.7m. Revenue at the firm, which focuses on pensions and retirement savings, remained flat at £26.7m, as it was unable to match its previous year’s financial success.

In 2015/16, revenue at Sackers grew 13% to £26.8m, with the firm buoyed by major pensions restructuring mandates on behalf of clients such as Lloyds Bank, HSBC, John Lewis and ITV.

The figures revealed a significant fall in its partner top of equity figure. Last year, Sackers’ top earning partner earned £1.4m, dropping 21% to £1.1m this year.

The City-based firm attributed the reason for the substantial drop in PEP to a number of ‘planned’ partner retirements and associated payouts during the financial year.

Sackers senior partner Ian Pittaway told Legal Business that the firm had performed broadly as expected for the year, and said that last year was a ‘particularly good year’ compared to other years.

The next financial year would be more active for the firm, Pittaway said, after the UK government suggested enforcing greater pensions regulation after the collapse of BHS.

‘The increase in pensions regulation marks a big sea change from previous years’, he said.

Pittaway added: ‘Over a five-year period we have achieved steady growth. This year we were at more of a normal level, but we are on target.’

While the firm lost some partners through retirement over the financial year, Sackers brought in three new equity partners including the hire of RPC’s head of pensions Philippa Connaughton. This grew the total number of equity partners at the firm from 13 last year to 16 this year.