The billionaire founders of Hargreaves Lansdown are to pocket £82m of dividends after it brushed off the collapse of stock picker Neil Woodford’s investment empire to post a surge in quarterly profits.
Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown will be paid £63.4m and £18.6m respectively by the company, which they founded in a bedroom in 1981. The pair still own a combined 31.5pc of shares.
Hargreaves Lansdown has emerged s a rare winner during the crisis, with profits up almost a quarter in the 12 months to June. It hiked its payout to shareholders by nearly a third to 54.9p a share.
The FTSE 100 firm signed up a record 188,000 extra customers to take the total number of active clients to more than 1.4m.
Bristol-based investment platform Hargreaves is facing legal action from furious savers after it was caught up in the collapse of the Woodford funds, which it included on its best buy list for customers.
The company has been forced to review its practices to avoid a repeat of the scandal, which has saddled Mr Woodford's investors with massive losses.
Chief executive Chris Hill said the firm delivered a strong performance despite the challenges from Covid as markets tanked in March and April.
He added: "It was essential that we learn from the Woodford issue last year.”
Hargreaves consulted extensively with clients before launching a new funds shortlist last month, he said, adding: “We’ve taken our time to get this right."
The firm - which looks after £104bn of customers' cash - won an additional £7.7bn of new investments from clients, helping it to generate sales of £551m – a 15pc increase on the previous year.
Pre-tax profits climbed 24pc to £378m as the firm managed to grow its share of the retail investor and share trading market.
Mr Hill said the company did not furlough staff or make any redundancies, nor did it accept any taxpayer support to get through the crisis.
Shares rose 2.2pc to £18.65 in afternoon trading, valuing the firm at £8.85bn.