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Woodford invests £21m into AJ Bell

Woodford invests £21m into AJ Bell

Woodford Investment Management has invested £21m into self-invested pension and platform services provider AJ Bell.

In an announcement today (8 June), AJ Bell said £13m is being invested by CF Woodford Equity Income Fund, while a further £8m is being invested by Woodford Patient Capital Trust Plc.

Shares were made available by management and existing shareholders. Employees still remain the single largest shareholder group, the firm added.

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Funds managed by Invesco Asset Management Limited, the largest institutional shareholder, did not sell any shares and took the opportunity to top up their holding by a “modest amount”.

No new shares were issued in the transaction and employees, led by Andy Bell, chief executive, remain the single largest shareholder group. Shore Capital Stockbrokers acted as broker in this share transaction.

In the six months to 31 March 2015, AJ Bell increased retail customers by 7 per cent to 111,503, contributing to assets under administration rising 10 per cent to £26.1bn and representing “record” first-half AUA growth of £2.4bn.

AJ Bell added it is experiencing further growth as a result of the recent rule changes granting greater pensions’ freedoms, which have driven inflows from private investors and their advisers seeking low-cost, easy-to-use investment platforms.

Mr Bell said: “The investment from these blue-chip institutions signals the exciting opportunities that are emerging.

“A new chapter in our growth story has started as the AJ Bell Investcentre platform benefits from advisers and their clients embracing pensions’ freedoms.

“In addition, 2015 will see us continue to invest heavily to enhance the platform’s award-winning tools and functionality.”

donia.o’loughlin@ft.com