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Aviva sees 6% flow growth as advice launch imminent

Aviva sees 6% flow growth as advice launch imminent

Aviva has hailed its ‘strong performance’ in the adviser platform space with net fund flows growing by 6 per cent, as it looks to launch its simplified advice offering this year.

Aviva’s full year results for the period ended December 31, 2020, published this morning (March 4), showed the adviser platform’s net fund flows were up 6 per cent to reach £3.7bn, compared with £3.5bn at year end 2019.

However, this is still significantly less than the £6.2bn net flows posted by the platform in 2017, prior to its replatforming debacle, and also failed to beat 2018's £3.9bn.

Nevertheless, it has propelled the platform to number 2 in the market, with a market share of 14 per cent of net flows, according to the insurer.

Total platform assets under management have grown by 18 per cent year-on-year to £34bn, with advised assets making up £32bn.

Lindsey Rix, chief executive officer of UK Savings and Retirement at Aviva, told FTAdviser the business had a “fantastic year” despite the pandemic.

Rix said: “Over the course of the year we were second in net fund flows in the adviser market, so I think we saw a strong performance from the platform last year.

“We are growing well and have great relationships with IFAs. We are obviously keen to build on this more and develop and enhance the proposition, but the functionality is good and the business is performing very well.”

In its results, the provider stated: “The complexity and flexibility of the UK pension and savings system as well as the ageing population, which includes wealthy baby boomers reaching retirement, has accelerated the need for financial advice and for platform solutions that help financial advisers to look after their clients' assets more effectively and efficiently.

"This has driven growth in the adviser platform market from £400bn in 2015 to over £750bn in 2020 with forecast market growth to £1.3trn by 2025."

Advice launch

Aviva said last year it was looking into launching a ‘simplified advice’ offering for a lower cost.

This came at the same time it announced it was launching an abridged advice service to help savers who are considering to transfer out of their defined benefit pension.

Rix told FTAdviser it would look to launch this offering over the course of 2021.

She said: “It’s still early days. I am pleased with how the team has transitioned and the early signs I am seeing on flows and the number of customers we are talking to.

“We have good plans for what we might want to do over the course of this year to help expand and offer broader wealth advice but I want to see that the proposition we have today and changes we made last year are working and delivering for our customers.”

Meanwhile, Aviva’s savings and retirement business saw net flows grow by 14 per cent to £8.5bn, up from £7.5bn at year end 2019, driven by group pensions and platform net flows.