Sackers’ revenue dropped by 2 per cent last year, from £24.3m to £23.8m.
The specialist pensions-focused firm, which reports its figures on a calendar year, also saw its net profit return to its 2011 figure of £12m, following a 4.2 per cent rise to £12.5m in 2012 (10 July 2013).
Average profit per equity partner at Sackers dropped by 3 per cent, from £765,000 to £742,000, its lowest point in more than five years.
Sackers’ managing partner Ian Pittaway said: “It was a good result in a difficult marketplace”.
Pittaway put the fall in profit and revenue largely down to increasing fee pressure from the firm’s pension fund clients, adding, “we’ve been working for all the same clients, but we’ve found they’re getting better control of their costs”.
In recent years, Pittaway said, Sackers has worked on pricing tools, utilising arrangements including monthly retainers and fixed fees. Pittaway added that while full-service firms had seen strong pressure on fees for a number of years, the phenomenon has only recently spread into the pensions market.
During the course of 2013/14, Sackers had 12 tender opportunities of which it won seven, or 58 per cent. These included the pension fund of French energy giant Total. Since then, Sackers has also won British Airways Pension Scheme as a new client.
In late 2013, Sackers’ embarked on a long-term ‘2020 plan’, earmarking areas including public sector work and its relatively new financial investment practice for particularly accelerated growth in coming years.
The firm is set to review the process in September to ensure that the programme is “fit for purpose”.
For more on Sackers’ 2020 plan, see blog (24 February 2014).