AJ Bell  

AJ Bell adds Aquis Stock Exchange to platform

AJ Bell adds Aquis Stock Exchange to platform

Investment platform AJ Bell has added Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE) to its online trading platform, offering customers access to approximately 90 listed growth companies.

The investments are available directly to retail investors via AJ Bell Youinvest and to investors that use a financial adviser via AJ Bell Investcentre.  

They are available for online trading via Isas, Sipps, as well as dealing and general investment accounts.  

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Andy Bell, CEO at AJ Bell, said many customers told the firm they wanted to be able to trade stocks listed on AQSE, and that the organisation was “pleased to make this available to them.”

“Our goal is to make investing easy for our customers, whether they are managing their investments themselves or with the help of a financial adviser," he said. 

Companies quoted on AQSE are divided into two segments 'Access' and 'Apex'. 

The access market focuses on earlier stage growth companies, while apex is the market for larger, more established businesses.

Average market capitalisation on apex stocks is approximately £80m and includes names such as Chapel Down, KR1 and Samarkand Group.

In February, boutique wealth management firm Baskerville Capital listed on the access segment of the AQSE growth market

Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Aquis Exchange, said: “We are very pleased AJ Bell has given its clients electronic access to trade AQSE shares.

"Today, some of the UK’s most exciting growth companies are choosing to get a quotation on AQSE.”

AQSE, which used to be known as NEX Exchange Ltd., was acquired by Aquis in March 2020 from CME Inc.

Haynes added: “Since we acquired this business last year we have been making numerous changes to radically raise standards and increase liquidity. 

“We fervently believe in retail investors having equal opportunities to trade as institutional players as part of our mission to get the public back into public markets for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Last month, Aquis Exchange reported a bump in revenues, climbing by 67 per cent to £11.5m, up from £6.9m in 2019, and logged its first full year profit with a pre-tax value of £0.5m.

Until now, electronic trading on AQSE had been mostly restricted to a small group of brokers including Barclays Smart Invest, The Share Centre and Jarvis.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that talks are being held with “lots of other companies”, including investment giants Hargreaves Lansdown and IG Group, and that the firm was “hopeful” that other platforms will be onboarded by the summer.

Tom Higgins is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser