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Schroders first quarter assets up 5 percent, led by retail, wealth management

By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) - British fund manager Schroders (SDR.L) said on Thursday that total assets under management and administration rose 5 percent in the three months to end-March, led by growth in its retail funds and wealth management.

The update was the first issued by the company in a newly shortened format in which it provided a total assets figure for each of its divisions without a breakdown of how inflows of client money and market moves impacted the figure.

"We would expect this new lack of disclosure to be taken negatively by the market, as one number in a vacuum isn't particularly useful," KBW analyst Jonathan Richards said in a note to clients, despite retaining an 'outperform' rating on the stock and 3,200 pence price target.

"Given Schroders' premium rating, international standing, and best of breed, we find this new disclosure disappointing and not in line with Schroders' standards."

Schroders said last December it would no longer issue full results in its first and third quarters, emphasising its focus was on sustainable growth for the longer term. It plans to publish detailed half-year results on July 27.

At 0725 GMT, shares in Schroders were down 1 percent at 3,166 pence while the FTSE 100 (.FTSE) index was 0.6 percent lower.

Funds managed within its asset management unit rose 4.5 percent to 361.9 billion pounds, it said, led by a 6.1 percent increase in assets in funds sold through financial intermediaries.

Assets managed on behalf of institutional investors such as pension schemes and insurance companies rose 3.6 percent over the same period, while wealth management assets were up 9.1 percent.

The latter was driven by the completed acquisition of the wealth management business of C. Hoare & Co, which added around 1,800 clients and 2.5 billion pounds of assets under management.

Last week, Schroders announced another acquisition, this time of private equity business Adveq, as it looks to expand its private assets capability in response to growing demand from clients.

The Schroders update follows the release of fresh quarterly numbers from smaller rivals Jupiter (JUP.L) and Ashmore (ASHM.L), both of which posted a rise in assets, led by a mix of market gains and inflows.

Over the same period, the FTSE 100 rose 2.5 percent while the pound rose 2 percent against the dollar.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Huw Jones and Keith Weir)