Platforms  

Transact is most popular platform with advisers

Transact is most popular platform with advisers

Transact attracted more net assets from advisers than any other platform in the quarter to 30 September, according to data from consultancy firm Fundscape.

The platform attracted net assets from retail advisers of £979m in the quarter, putting it £3m ahead of Standard Life and £19m ahead of AJ Bell.

When calculated on a gross basis, that is, excluding assets removed from the platform, Standard Life attracted assets of £2.1bn top the charts, ahead of Quilter Wealth and Transact.

The combined Aegon and Cofunds platforms attracted £10bn of assets across all channels, with Fidelity's Fundsnetwork platform second on £3bn.

That is despite the much discussed difficulties many clients of the Aegon have experienced since the company’s replatforming began in May.

Bella Caridade Ferreira, founder of Fundscape, said the success of Transact was a surprise, but added it showed the benefit of platforms that "stick to their knitting."

The data showed overall platform assets increased by 5 per cent to £634bn.

Q318 ASSET TRENDS

 

Q4 17 AUA

Q2 18 AUA

Q3 18 AUA

Q318 growth (£m)

Q318 growth (%)

YTD growth (£m)

YTD growth (%)

Cofunds

94,555.20

95,638.00

94,562.00

-1,076.00

-1.1

6.8

0

HL e

86,037.00

91,579.00

94,100.00

2,521.00

2.8

8,063.00

9.4

Fidelity

79,679.00

81,603.20

83,201.50

1,598.30

2

3,522.50

4.4

St Life

54,022.00

56,335.10

57,652.00

1,316.90

2.3

3,630.00

6.7

Quilter

51,469.50

53,679.30

54,767.50

1,088.20

2

3,298.00

6.4

Aegon

22,191.00

25,472.00

43,506.50

18,034.50

70.8

21,315.50

96.1

AJ Bell e

33,566.40

36,700.00

38,600.00

1,900.00

5.2

5,033.60

15

Transact

29,700.00

31,884.00

33,113.00

1,229.00

3.9

3,413.00

11.5

J Hay

25,531.60

26,244.00

26,535.10

291.1

1.1

1,003.40

3.9

Aviva

20,129.60

22,670.90

23,345.70

674.8

3

3,216.00

16

ATS

15,785.00

15,772.00

15,993.70

221.7

1.4

208.7

1.3

Ascentric

14,422.30

15,062.20

15,400.30

338.2

2.2

978.1

6.8

Nucleus

13,576.70

14,338.80

14,693.10

354.3

2.5

1,116.40

8.2

Zurich

8,680.00

9,490.00

9,838.00

348

3.7

1,158.00

13.3

7im

7,767.20

8,222.30

8,493.20

270.9

3.3

726

9.3

Next 4**

13,946.00

18,877.00

20,049.00

1,172.00

6.2

6,103.00

43.8

Total

571,058.60

603,567.70

633,850.50

30,282.80

5

62,791.90

11

Ms Caridade Ferreira said: "But below the surface, assets were boosted by Aegon adding £16bn of defined contribution assets to its platform following the completion of the Part VII transfer from BlackRock to Aegon.

"With this £16bn figure stripped out, UK platform assets rose by £14.4bn to £618bn — an increase of just 2.4 per cent.

"Real gross sales were down 1.4 per cent year on year to £28.2bn. The decline was far worse for net activity, with year-on-year sales down by 22 per cent to £9.4bn.

"On a year-to-date business, gross sales of £89bn were only marginally down on the £91bn achieved in the same period in 2017. But net sales of £36bn were considerably lower than the £41bn registered in 2017."

Many advisers, such as Ian Lowes, managing director of Lowes Financial Management, have said the regulatory and time costs of switching platform make it difficult to do so.

Back in July, the Financial Conduct Authority stated it wants to address the "burdensome" task of switching platforms.

In the interim report of the regulator's platform market study, the FCA decried the fact advisers often leave existing investments on more expensive platforms but it found switching platforms could take up to 15 hours of an advice firm's time.

The FCA found the majority of advisers - more than nine in 10 - said they moved a client’s investment from one platform to another less than every five years.

Among the problems the FCA found was that advisers were setting too low a bar for whether a client's investments should remain on a particular platform.

david.thorpe@ft.com