AJ Bell  

AJ Bell inflows double as customer numbers soar

AJ Bell inflows double as customer numbers soar
 Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

AJ Bell saw its inflows double and customer numbers soar at the tail end of 2020 as the platform continued to cash in on an increased number of investors amid the Covid crisis.

A trading update published today (January 21) shows investors placed £1.6bn with the platform in the three months to December — double the £800m recorded for the same period in 2019.

Advised business accounted for some £800m of the inflows, up 33 per cent on the prior year.

Meanwhile platform customer numbers grew by nearly 17,000 over the three months, closing at a total of 298,000. This represented a 6 per cent increase in the quarter and 31 per cent over the year.

Advised customers grew by 12 per cent year-on-year and 3 per cent during the quarter to hit 112,300.

Chief executive Andy Bell put the jump in numbers down to an “increased awareness and trust” in the AJ Bell brand, as well as its “easy-to-use, competitively priced” platform.

He added: “Our market leading platform propositions and investment solutions position us well to benefit from the need for people to take control of their long-term financial affairs and we approach the traditionally busy tax year end period with confidence."

AJ Bell’s platform assets under administration closed the year at £55.2bn, growing by nearly a fifth (17 per cent) year-on-year and 11 per cent in the quarter.

Including non-platform business, the group’s assets increased to £62.5bn, an increase of 14 per cent in 2020.

The firm also reported on AJ Bell Investments’ for the first time. The investment business, made up of a fund range and managed portfolio service, saw its assets double year-on-year to break £1bn.

Mr Bell said: “We are making good progress with our investment business and are pleased to report that assets under management broke through the £1bn milestone in the quarter, doubling the value of assets managed compared to a year earlier. 

“Our low-cost, multi-asset funds are proving to be popular in both the advised and D2C markets and our managed portfolio service is one of the best value offerings in the advised market, with an annual management charge of 0.15 per cent following the recent removal of VAT from our charges.”

AJ Bell also recently launched the AJ Bell Responsible Growth fund and is set to create a responsible managed portfolio service for advisers in the coming months.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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