Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell said on Thursday its total assets under administration (AUA) increased to £75.6 billion — up 21% over the last year and up 4% in the quarter to December 31.
In a first-quarter trading update, AJ Bell said total customer numbers increased to 398,066, up 27% over the last year and 4% in the quarter, with total net inflows in the quarter of £1.3 billion.
“This performance was delivered against a very different market backdrop to that seen in the comparative quarter last year, when stricter government restrictions helped to drive AJ Bell’s total customer growth, gross inflows and net inflows to record levels,” said AJ Bell.
“The continued growth in Q1 evidences the resilience of the AJ Bell business model in different market conditions and was again driven by the company’s platform propositions and investment business.”
AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “We have had a solid start to our new financial year with customer numbers, gross inflows and assets under administration all growing steadily.
“We continue to see strong demand for our easy to use, low-cost platform across both the advised and direct-to-consumer markets.
“In the advised market we had our second-best quarter ever for customer acquisition with 4,690 net new advised customers added in the quarter, 38% more than in the same period last year.
“Gross inflows of £1.6 billion to our advised platform were 23% higher than the comparative period and underlying net inflows were robust in what is normally a quieter period for asset flows.
“The direct-to-consumer market continues to grow strongly, with increasing numbers of people being drawn to the benefits of personal investing.
“In the quarter we delivered further growth in D2C customers and AUA and are now entrusted with over £20 billion of assets by a quarter of a million retail investors.
“Our trusted brand and easy to use platform propositions, supported by our increasingly popular investment solutions, ensure that we are well positioned to deliver further growth in both the advised and D2C markets and we approach the traditionally busy tax year end period with optimism.”