Shares in asset management group Schroders fell by 8.2 per cent during trading today after it released disappointing first-half results.
The fund manager saw its underlying operating profits before tax improve by seven per cent during the opening six months of its financial year but more impressive gains from competitors and unmet anticipation from positive interim results meant expectations were dashed.
Nevertheless, profits after tax improved year-on-year, up from £90.7 million to £98.3 million and overall revenue increased from £367.6 million to £451.3 million.
A shift in the group's portfolio towards private clients, which increased by 31 per cent thanks to "higher activity in Switzerland", was largely responsible for the modest growth, with UK and Channel Island business also doing well.
But, as Schroder chief executive Michael Dobson admitted, "2006 is a year of consolidation for Schroders as equity market growth slows and we invest in talent, business development and operating infrastructure".
He described a "background of volatile markets" before insisting that "the group has produced continued growth in revenue and profit in the first half of 2006".
Despite this, Schroders, one of the oldest and most respected of British fund management institutions, failed to convince the market which throughout the day saw the selling off of capital away from the group.