Hargreaves and Lansdown cash in on dividend rise

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The Independent Online

Hargreaves Lansdown, the investment broker, shrugged off choppy markets and the threat of a crackdown by regulators to post a 46 per cent rise in earnings and a 41 per cent increase in the assets it looks after for clients.

The Bristol-based company, which started life as a two-man operation run by founders Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown, also showed its confidence by raising its dividend. The total payment for the year has been increased 59 per cent to 18.87p a share. That means that Mr Hargreaves will receive nearly £29m while Mr Lansdown will make nearly £21m.

The broker said that while capital requirements on almost every financial business have increased, it did not have a pressing need for cash so a higher payout was "appropriate".

The company reported that its Vantage fund platform had added 50,000 clients since June 2010, taking the number of active clients to 380,000. Hargreaves Lansdown holds £24.6bn under administration.

The chief executive Ian Gorham also said he believed the company could thrive, despite the fears over the economy that have shaken the markets and led many investors to pull their money out of equities amid sharp swings in prices.

The company repeated its view that proposed rules to crack down on payments made by asset managers to platforms that sell their funds would not harm its business.