AJ Bell assets top £70bn for the first time

Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell said on Thursday its total assets under administration (AUA) increased to £70.4 billion over the three months ended June 30, 2021, up 30% over the last year and 8% in the quarter.

Over the same quarter the FTSE All-Share Index rose by 4.8% and MSCI World Index rose by 7.2%.

In a trading update, AJ Bell said its total customer numbers increased to 368,033, up 30% over the last year and 6% in the quarter, with total net inflows in the quarter of £1.8 billion (2020: £1.2 billion).

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “Our easy to use, low cost platform continues to drive our strong organic growth in both the D2C and advised markets, with platform customers up 32% over the year and net inflows up 40% compared to our third quarter last year.

“This helped total assets under administration hit the £70 billion mark for the first time.

“Our investment business also performed well with assets under management reaching the £2 billion milestone just six months after passing £1 billion.

“In the D2C market our growing brand awareness, award winning platform and competitive charges have driven customer growth of 42% over the past year.

“More people are seeking the security and peace of mind that a diversified investment portfolio held on a trusted platform can give them.

“We are seeing the majority of new customers invest via tax efficient ISAs and pensions as they take control of their financial future.

“In the advised market, third quarter platform inflows were up 57% compared to the prior year.

“The introduction of simplified pension options is proving particularly popular with advisers as it provides them with different price points and flexible investment options to cater for a diverse range of client needs.

“We also continue to see strong demand for our in-house investment solutions.

“There is growing awareness amongst financial advisers of the value and performance that our managed portfolio service is delivering to their clients and our multi-asset funds continue to prove popular with advisers and retail customers alike.

“As we head into the final quarter of our financial year, we remain focused on providing an excellent service to our customers and continuing to support our people as we navigate the current wave of the pandemic.

“Looking further ahead, the structural growth drivers for our sector remain strong and we are well placed to deliver further growth across our platform.”