AJ Bell assets up 14% to £62bn as inflows double

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell

Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell said on Thursday its assets under administration (AUA) increased to £62.5 billion, up 14% over the last 12 months and 11% in the quarter to December 31, 2020.

In a first-quarter trading update, AJ Bell said total net inflows rose to £1.6 billion, double the level reported in the first quarter of the prior year.

Total customer numbers increased to 312,309, up 30% over the last 12 months and 6% in the quarter.

Reporting the figure for the first time, the assets under management (AUM) total at the group’s AJ Bell Investments was £1 billion at December 31, 2020, an increase of 100% over the last 12 months.

Net inflows of AUM in the quarter were £147 million, up 91% compared to the first quarter of the prior year.

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “We have had a strong start to our financial year as customer numbers, net inflows, AUA and AUM all showed significant growth in the quarter.

“Increased awareness and trust in our brand continued to attract new advisers and customers to our easytouse, competitively priced platform.

“In the advised market the addition of the Retirement Investment Account to our existing product range ensures we are highly competitive on service and price across all client scenarios and portfolio sizes, which has helped drive strong net inflows of £0.8 billion.

“In the D2C market we continued to see increased demand for our easy-to-use, low-cost investment platform, enabling our customers to control and manage their investments and long-term savings.

“We are also making good progress with our investment business and are pleased to report that assets under management broke through the £1 billion milestone in the quarter, doubling the value of assets managed compared to a year earlier.

“Our low-cost, multi-asset funds are proving to be popular in both the advised and D2C markets and our managed portfolio service is one of the best value offerings in the advised market, with an annual management charge of 0.15% following the recent removal of VAT from our charges.

“There is an ever-increasing demand for ESG investment solutions and the recent launch of the AJ Bell Responsible Growth fund, our first product in this space, was our most successful fund launch yet.

“We will be building on this success with the launch of a Responsible Managed Portfolio Service for advisers in the coming months.

“Our market leading platform propositions and investment solutions position us well to benefit from the need for people to take control of their long-term financial affairs and we approach the traditionally busy tax year end period with confidence.”