AJ Bell tops 500,000 customers, £80bn assets

AJ Bell, the Salford investment platform giant, said its customer numbers increased by 19,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2024, taking total customers through the half a million milestone to close at 503,000.

The firm said it achieved record assets under administration (AUA) of £80.3 billion, up 17% over the last year and 5% in the quarter.

Total advised customers reached 165,000, up 8% in the last year and 2% in the quarter.

Gross inflows in the quarter were £3.4 billion, up 36% versus the prior year. Net inflows in the quarter were £1.6 billion, up 33% versus the prior year.

At the AJ Bell Investments business, assets under management (AUM) increased to £5.8 billion, up 49% over the last year and 12% in the quarter.

AJ Bell CEO Michael Summersgill said: “Surpassing half a million platform customers is a significant milestone for the business which reflects the continued success of our dual-channel model. Having listed in 2018 with just under 200,000 platform customers, this landmark demonstrates the strong execution of our organic growth strategy set out at IPO.

“We remain committed to providing low-cost, easy-to-use products that can be trusted by customers and advisers, and our continued investment into our customer propositions puts us in an excellent position to deliver further strong organic growth in the future.

“We saw strong momentum in the run up to the tax year end as improving retail investor sentiment, together with continued investment in our brand and propositions, helped to deliver £1.4 billion of gross inflows in March alone, a new monthly record for the business. Over the course of the quarter our platform achieved significantly higher net inflows compared to the prior year, up 33% to £1.6 billion.

“AJ Bell Investments continues to prove popular, particularly with financial advisers, which is driving strong flows via both AJ Bell Investcentre and third-party adviser platforms. Total AUM was up 12% in the quarter and 49% in the last year to £5.8 billion, reflecting the continued excellent growth of this part of the business.

“AJ Bell has always had a strong focus on offering exceptional value to customers and our philosophy of sharing the benefits of scale with our customers as we grow remains key to our strategy. On 1 April we reduced our custody fees for advised customers and halved our headline dealing fee for D2C customers to £5. We also increased the interest rates payable on cash balances held across all our products, further strengthening our overall customer value proposition.

“We are excited about the forthcoming launch of our Ready-made pension service, which will help customers to easily consolidate their existing pensions with AJ Bell and invest them automatically via our low-cost, in-house investment solutions. Looking further ahead, the growth opportunity for the platform market remains significant and our ongoing brand investment will continue to drive increased awareness of AJ Bell, supporting our long-term growth ambitions.”