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How Aegon platform woes have affected assets

How Aegon platform woes have affected assets

Platform sales data revealed a mixed picture for Aegon, as the company continues to wrestle with technological glitches on its platform.

The Aegon platform had the highest net sales of all adviser platforms in the second quarter of 2018, with £1.7bn of inflows, second to Hargreaves Lansdown’s £2bn.

The figures, contained in the latest Fundscape data, covered the period to 30 June, with the Aegon replatforming happened in the first week of May.

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Gross sales across all platforms fell to £12.4bn in the quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2017. There was a total of £571bn of assets across all platforms at the end of June.

Bella Caridade-Ferreira, chief executive of Fundscape, said: "Thanks to the Isa season the second quarter is usually the best of the year, but it’s looking like it might be the worst. Stock market volatility and global geopolitical uncertainty has unnerved investors and they’re staying away in droves."

She added that providers need to plan for "difficult months ahead", in terms of sales.

The Cofunds platform, which Aegon bought for £140m in August 2016, had the second lowest asset growth of all platforms year to date, at 1.1 per cent, according to the Fundscape data.

Meanwhile the Alliance Trust Savings platform actually lost assets this year, with its book of business shrinking by 0.1 per cent.

The board of Alliance Trust, the £2bn investment trust that owns the Alliance Trust Savings platform have discussed selling the business, having previously written down the value of the platform.

Aegon’s platform had assets of £25.4bn at the end of June, with Cofunds adding a further £95.6bn.

Advisers who have borne the brunt of technological problems at Aegon and Aviva have said the burden attached to switching clients to an alternative platform was such they are staying with their current platform and hoping for progress.

In its half yearly results, released yesterday (17 August) Aegon said the debacle had cost it £3m in the period to June 30, and it expected the final bill to be higher.

Company chief executive Adrian Grace told FTAdviser that the business has "deep pockets" to compensate advisers for any losses.

david.thorpe@ft.com