Royal London received £86m for Ascentric platform

Royal London received £86m for Ascentric platform

Royal London sold the Ascentric platform to M&G back in September for a total of £86m, its latest results have shown.

Royal London’s full year results for the period ended December 31, 2020, published this morning (March 5), showed the mutual had made a profit of £14m from the sale.

It was announced in May 2020 that M&G had agreed to buy Ascentric after the industry learnt the platform was up for sale three months prior.

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According to the results, £23m of other income was also generated through the administration of assets on the Ascentric platform.

Barry O’Dwyer, group chief executive of Royal London, said: “After a careful review of the types of products and services that will best meet our customers’ needs, we decided to sell our IFA investment platform business, Ascentric. 

“We are continuing to invest in the technology that underpins our long-term savings products and we believe this will provide better functionality for both customers and their advisers in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, the company saw its assets under management increase to £148bn, from £139bn the year before, which it said was down to strong inflows into its sustainable funds.

But the mutual had a tough year in terms of its profits, new business sales and net inflows.

Its operating profit before tax decreased to £41m from £165m in 2019, which the firm said reflected reduced new business sales and investment to improve customer service.

However this was offset by increased Aum and lower levels of losses on other businesses following the sale of Ascentric, the firm said.

This had a knock on effect on profit before tax which for year end 2020 stood at £131m, down from £414m the year before.

In addition, life and pensions new business flows were 20 per cent lower at £8.5bn as the national lockdowns took effect and savers decided against consolidating their investments.

Kevin Parry, chairman of Royal London, said: “The dedication shown by colleagues across the business as they support our customers has been exemplary and a testament to our values as a mutual organisation. 

“Our mutual status allows us to put the needs of our customers above all else, focusing on the long-term to ensure we are best placed to help customers through the economic and societal challenges ahead.”

Earlier this week, Royal London acquired robo-advice business Wealth Wizards from LV.

The firm said the acquisition meant it was now able to help customers who have joined workplace schemes through auto-enrolment as well as support employers and advisers looking to help employees make better financial decisions.

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