Architas to expand UK business

Architas to expand UK business

Asset manager Architas is investing in a UK-wide expansion following the release of strong 2016 results.

According to new figures filed today (23 February), the firm attracted €1.98bn (£1.67bn) in new money last year, including £840m in new UK business alone.

The Axa subsidiary increased its total assets by ten per cent between 2015 and 2016, with total UK assets reaching £21.8bn by the end of the year. This is up from £19.8bn at the end of 2015, and £13.6bn for 2014. 

As a result, the firm is now planning a series of investments in its UK business, in order to increase its reach among advisers. 

“Despite the challenges we faced in 2016 we continued to see strong growth across all areas of our UK and European businesses,” said Hans Georgeson, chief executive of Architas.

“In the UK, we are extremely pleased with the continued trust placed in us from long-standing adviser clients on the Elevate platform. Flows remained stable in the UK during a year of transition with the sale of the platform.

“We have also seen the exponential growth of flows from other platforms in the UK market as we build our relationship with a broader range of advice firms.

"This follows a significant investment into our UK business to develop our distribution, marketing and servicing capabilities to better meet the needs of advisers."

The firm’s Multi-Asset Passive and Blended ranges were particularly popular with investors last year, while the Diversified Real Assets fund has reached £150m less than three years since its launch.

Mr Georgeson added that the firm was preparing itself for the impact of Brexit in the year and years ahead, pointing out that the EU referendum was the “biggest challenge” faced by investors and the industry in 2016.

He added that the firm is “well placed for any outcome with regulated entities and funds domiciled across the UK and Europe.”

2Plan Wealth Management adviser Gary Morris welcomed the expansion plans, but warned that the platform would have to lower its costs in order to become more competitive in the UK market.

“There are companies out there at lower costs which are better for the client,” said Mr Morris.

“I think that the best product for the client is the lowest cost. That’s the biggest thing for us. Why would we put a client with a more expensive provider when all the wraps and platforms out there do the same thing?”