Platform  

Spike in adviser trust sales with 33% rise in platform use

Spike in adviser trust sales with 33% rise in platform use

The number of advisers investing in investment trusts via platforms rose 33 per cent during the second quarter of 2016 as firms continue broadening their offerings.

Figures from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) showed the number of adviser firms and wealth managers purchasing investment companies through platforms rose to 1,638 in the second quarter, compared to 1,230 in the first quarter.

During the last quarter of 2012 - before the RDR came into effect - the number of firms was only 595.

In an update from the AIC, the body said sales volume via platforms were up 23 per cent in Q2 compared the first three months of 2016.

Fidelity's FundsNetwork - which only began offering access to investment trusts from December 2015 - has already taken a 9 per cent share of sales.

FundsNetwork now offers 91 investment trusts on its platform after announce two updates since launching the service.

However, the most popular platform remains Transact accounting for 44 per cent of the market share by the end of June 2016. It was followed by Ascentric with 19 per cent and Alliance Trust Savings with 15 per cent.

Sales of trusts via platforms hit £161m in Q2 up from £131m in Q1 but still far below the record £274m seen in the second quarter last year. The 2015 figure corresponded with the launch of Neil Woodford's Patient Capital Trust.

The 2016 Q2 figure reversed a declining sales trend seen since Mr Woodford brought his vehicle to market. Advisers' interest in investment trusts had been down quarter-on-quarter since Q3 2015 prior to this set of data.

  Sales via platforms
2015Q1£133m
Q2£274m
Q3£149m
Q4£136m
2016Q1£131m
Q2£161m

The last quarter was the second highest on record, the AIC said.

Ian Sayers, chief executive of the AIC, said: ““The number of adviser firms using investment companies has jumped to record levels, which demonstrates that new firms of advisers are starting to use investment companies.

”It’s encouraging that adviser purchases of investment companies continue to be strong after the exceptional contribution of Woodford Patient Capital to last year’s figures."