Ashurst: PEP rises as turnover stalls

Ashurst’s financial performance has rebounded with the firm reporting a 9 per cent increase in average profits per equity partner (PEP) last financial year to reach £567,000.

But the increase was still not enough to fully counteract the firm’s dismal results in 2003/04, which saw average PEP tumble 11.7 per cent to £521,000, down from £590,000 in 2002/03.

Remuneration for the firm’s top rainmakers did however jump £37,000, with the profit share ranging from £287,000 to £718,000 for senior equity partners last financial year.

But again the increase could not combat the severe fall at the top and bottom of equity suffered in 2003/04, when plateau partners saw their income drop by 14.9 per cent to £681,000 compared to £800,000. At the bottom of equity, figures fell by 14.7 per cent to £273,000 compared to £320,000 in 2002-03.

Turnover meanwhile inched up 2 per cent during 2004/05 to reach £201m, after the firm recorded a steady result of £197m during 2003/04.

Both the final PEP and turnover figures for 2004/05 are a slight increase on preliminary figures suggested for the firm earlier in the year of £200m turnover and £545,000 PEP.

The financial results follow a successful year for new client wins at the firm, including winning a place on the City section of Abbey’s panel. Ashurst also advanced its role on the APAX panel after securing the lead advisory role.

Managing partner Simon Bromwich said the figures showed that the firm’s profitability was back on an improving track, and the firm was confident of further improvement this year.