This interim report covers the six month period to September 2018 and is the first since our decision to move our year-end to 31 March. The firm has continued to progress its transformation programme during this period in order to provide a more robust platform and enhance our offering to clients for the years ahead. As I have stated before, the scale of this process has not been without additional cost and labour, but is now closer to fulfilment.
The last two months of this period saw a number of important changes, building on the work undertaken in recent years.
Phillip Wale joined us as CEO (elect) from August 2018, with the FCA approving his appointment last month. Phillip has brought considerable experience to the Board of WH Ireland having held a number of senior positions in similar financial services businesses, which span both Wealth Management and Corporate and Institutional Broking, including senior positions at Goldman Sachs in both New York and London, and Chief Executive roles at Seymour Pierce and Panmure Gordon & Co.
The Group has also seen a strengthening of our core shareholder base during the period, with Polygon and Oceanwood agreeing to increase their stakes in the firm, alongside the welcome addition of M&G joining the key shareholder list.
PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGEMENT
We have previously described to shareholders the initiatives being undertaken across our Private Wealth Management business, including the focus on increasing discretionary assets under management and the outsourcing of our custody and operational functions.
The period under review saw further progress on both counts and whilst more needs to be done to improve the profitability of the division, I am encouraged by what has been achieved to date.
CORPORATE & INSTITUTIONAL BROKING
As has been widely reported, the Corporate & Institutional Broking division is operating in a market that has seen a high degree of uncertainty in recent months but importantly, the division has remained profitable for the period.
Notwithstanding this backdrop, we have undertaken a number of notable capital raisings and advisory roles in the period and I believe that we have established a business model which is positioned well to take advantage of the structural changes being brought about in our industry by the introduction of MiFID ii legislation.
The division is already benefiting from Phillip Wale's considerable experience in the short time since his appointment and will continue to provide a high quality of service to both our corporate and institutional clients as we grow, whether it be through advice, access to capital or trading capabilities.
The Board continues to progress its transformation strategy and, following his appointment as CEO, Phillip has been tasked with delivering an accelerated path to growth and profitability of the Group, for the benefit of all of the Company's stakeholders. Fee income (CIB retainers, Private Wealth management and advice fees) is now running at approximately £1.3 million a month, representing nearly 55% of our total monthly revenue and provides a strong platform from which to continue to build. Whilst there remains much to be achieved, I believe that the foundations are being put in place to deliver growth across both divisions.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge on behalf of the Board and Senior Management team, the continued hard work and focus of all of our employees during the past six months.
Tim Steel, Chairman WH Ireland Group plc