AJ Bell assets slip to £64bn amid ‘adverse markets’

Michael Summersgill

Salford-based investment giant AJ Bell said on Thursday its assets under administration (AUA) closed the year to September 30 down 2% at £64.1 billion “with strong net inflows in the year offset by adverse market movements of 11%.”

AJ Bell said that during the year, the FTSE All-Share Index fell 7% whilst the FTSE 250 Index fell 25%.

Net inflows in the year slipped to £5.8 billion from £7 billion in the prior year, while gross inflows in the year slipped to £10.1 billion from £10.9 billion.

Customer numbers increased by 57,687 to close at 425,652, up 16% for the year.

AJ Bell CEO Michael Summersgill said: “I am incredibly proud to have succeeded Andy as AJ Bell’s CEO and am pleased to update on another very successful year for the company.

“Organic customer growth of 16% and net inflows of £5.8 billion over the year, with £1.2 billion of net inflows in the last quarter alone, once again demonstrates the strength of our dual-channel platform, with both advised and D2C channels performing very well.

“Advised platform inflows were strong throughout the year and customer numbers grew 15% as advisers helped their clients to navigate significant market volatility.

“Net inflows for the final quarter of £0.9 billion were in line with the previous two quarters, with advisers continuing to utilise the breadth of our product offering and growing suite of investment solutions to meet a wide range of client needs.

“In the D2C market our customer base grew by 16% as our easy-to-use platform continued to attract retail investors looking for a trusted provider to help them on their investment journey.

“Net inflows for the year were strong at £2.5 billion and remained resilient during the traditionally quieter summer months, with £0.3 billion of net inflows in Q4 despite a slowdown in new contributions from customers impacted by the rising cost of living.

“Dodl, our new investing app, has been well received by customers looking for a simpler way to invest and we have recently launched some new features with the addition of US equities to the investment range and the enabling of account transfers from other providers.

“Our investments business delivered significant growth in assets under management, driven by underlying net inflows of over £1 billion across our multi-asset funds and managed portfolio service.

“Our asset allocation approach has delivered for our customers with all our multi-asset funds outperforming their benchmarks over the last 12 months and all but one delivering top quartile returns.

“Despite the challenging economic backdrop, our business model continues to perform exceptionally well. We have a talented and experienced management team in place that is focused on achieving our growth ambitions in the investment platform market.

“Together we are extremely excited about the long-term prospects for AJ Bell.”