The results in the private clients segment showed that heightened market volatility produced more transactions and need for clients to engage with advisors - boosting commission revenues.
The private client arm of Oppenheimer Holdings, the New York-based group that also provides investment banking and asset management, late last week reported a 12.4 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue, to $141 million in the second quarter of 2020.
Advisory fees fell, to $58.3 million from $62.08 million, the group said. On the other hand, commissions rose to $50.3 million from $47.2 million over the period. Higher market volatility and a desire by clients to speak with advisors during the pandemic helped boost commissions, it said.
Total costs slipped to $117.5 million in Q2 from $118.5 million, Oppenheimer said in a statement.
Assets under administration at the private client business rose to $89.7 billion from $87.3 billion. Advisor headcount slipped to 1,029 from 1,036.
For the Oppenheimer Holdings business as a whole, net income for the quarter was $17.6 million, or $1.40 basic earnings per share, compared with net income of $12.4 million or $0.95 basic earnings per share a year earlier.
“While navigating new working arrangements, whether remotely or in a less populated office environment, the firm's associates were able to work productively and contribute to what turned out to be a very solid quarter, both in terms of revenue and profit, given the headwinds created by a very low interest rate environment. Continued volatility in the equity markets and huge demand for capital raising led to stronger than expected operating results for the period,” Albert G Lowenthal, chairman and CEO, said.