(Alliance News) - Rathbones Group PLC on Thursday said the integration of Investec Wealth & Investment was "progressing well" as it reported a rise in funds under management and administration in the first quarter.

In a trading update for the three months ended March, the London-based investment and wealth management said it has made a positive start to 2024.

Rathbones said total FUMA reached GBP107.6 billion at the end of the first quarter, up 2.2% from GBP105.3 billion at the end of 2023.

Rathbones said total net flows in wealth management were negative in the quarter as positive inflows in Rathbones were offset by outflows in IW&I.

Rathbones discretionary and managed net inflows for the quarter totalled GBP0.4 billion, unchanged from a year prior. But IW&I saw net outflows of GBP0.6 billion.

Net operating income nearly doubled to GBP223.6 million in the quarter from GBP117.8 million a year ago, including a contribution of GBP89.8 million from IW&I. Excluding IW&I, growth was around 14% year-on-year.

Pretax profit in the quarter was GBP39.1 million, including GBP9.5 million in relation to integration and acquisition costs.

Rathbones said the integration of IW&I is progressing well with run-rate synergies now GBP10.6 million, up from the GBP8.0 million reported in December.

"While economic uncertainty and headwinds remain in the UK and abroad, Rathbones is well-equipped to navigate challenging market conditions. We remain confident in our integration and synergy targets and are well-positioned to take advantage of the future benefits of the Group's scale," it said.

Rathbones said it continues to expect the underlying operating margin for to be mid-20% and to incur non-underlying costs in line with those stated at the year-end.

Shares in Rathbones fell 0.2% to 1,762.00 pence in London on Thursday.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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