Platforms  

'Resilient' advised platform assets beat market falls

'Resilient' advised platform assets beat market falls

The advised platform market remains “resilient” after seeing 12 per cent wiped from its assets in the first three months of the year, compared with a FTSE drop of 25 per cent, according to the Lang Cat.

In the first quarter of the year advised platform assets fell 12 per cent to £394bn, while 'all channel' assets - including advised and institutional assets - also dropped 12 per cent to £489bn.

This was the first time advised platform assets had dropped below £400bn since Q4 2018, however it was against a background of tumbling global markets.

By comparison, the FTSE All Share and the UK’s blue chip index dropped 25 per cent in the three months and the S&P 500 lost 14 per cent as the coronavirus knocked economies and shut down borders.

Mark Polson, principal at the Lang Cat, said: “This fall in assets under administration demonstrates relatively strong performance compared to overall stock market performance in Q1.”

He said this was partly driven by “accidental persistency” — where transfers, retirements and life goals are put temporarily on hold.

Other factors included investors using platform cash services as a haven from market volatility and the fact diversified portfolios were “doing exactly what they are meant to do”.

He added: “We know that markets go up and down, and we’ve seen strong progress since late Q1 in that regard. 

“But whatever markets do, platforms are in a good place to demonstrate their resilience over the next two quarters, with both gross and net flows strong in Q1.”

Q1 was also a strong period for net inflows, which rose by 28 per cent in the quarter for 'all channels' to reach just over £9bn. 

For the advised market, net flows were up 30 per cent to £7.6bn.

The most popular platform in terms of net inflows in Q1 was the Aviva platform, as investors piled £1.12bn into its services. Other popular platforms included Transact, AJ Bell and FundsNetwork.

PlatformNet inflow Q1 2020
Aviva£1.12bn
Transact£1.1bn
AJ Bell Investcentre£900m
FundsNetwork£660m
Standard Life£620m

Standard Life remains the largest advised platform, with £55.68bn AUA as at March 31, with Old Mutual Wealth and Transact making up the big three.

Platform

Advised AUA as at March 31, 2020

Standard Life£55.68bn
Old Mutual Wealth£50.7bn
Transact£35bn
FundsNetwork£33.24bn
The Aegon Platform£31.46bn

imogen.tew@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know