Platforms  

Transact remains most popular platform with advisers

Transact remains most popular platform with advisers

Transact has kept its place as the top adviser platform after it attracted more net sales from advisers than any other platform in 2020, according to data from consultancy firm Fundscape.

The Transact platform attracted advised net sales of £3.47bn by the end of 2020, putting it slightly ahead of Aviva which saw net sales of £3.46bn and AJ Bell at £3bn.

There has been no change to the top three platforms as Transact topped the charts in 2019 with £3.6bn net sales, followed by Aviva with £3.5bn and AJ Bell with £2.6bn.

However, when calculated on a gross basis, in 2020 Standard Life topped the charts, ahead of Transact and Old Mutual Wealth, which was a complete shake up of 2019 when Aegon's Cofunds platform sat in the top spot, followed by Fidelity and Hargreaves Lansdown.

According to Fundscape, despite the difficult backdrop caused by the coronavirus pandemic adviser platforms have adapted well and accounted for 70 per cent of net platform flows in 2020. 

When looking at the last quarter of 2020 Aviva was the best performer in terms of net sales, at £1.03bn.

True Potential came in second with £1.02bn net sales followed by Transact with £840m.

When calculated on a gross basis, in Q4 2020 Standard Life topped the chart with £1.68bn gross sales followed by Aviva with £1.64bn and Transact with £1.58bn.

Fundscape put Aviva’s success down to its re-platforming issues now being in the past and its competitive pricing model helping it to win new business. 

Meanwhile, True Potential has benefited from a significant rise in advisers joining its network during the pandemic, the consultancy said.

Bella Caridade-Ferreira, chief executive officer of Fundscape said the last few weeks of 2020 came at an advantage to platforms and investment managers alike. 

She said: “It took time for platforms and adviser firms to adapt to life under Covid, but 2020’s net sales were actually better than the previous year’s when Brexit was the main drag on flows. 

“Nonetheless, many investors have stayed on the side-lines, and a considerable wall of money has built up that should flow into the platform industry in 2021. Barring no major incidents of course.

“It looks as though the UK economy could be back to normal by the summer. That will work wonders on investor sentiment and platforms are already reporting a good start to the Isa season. As a result, we expect the first half of 2021 to be home to buoyant sales.”

Platform takeovers

The platform market has been rife with takeovers over the past couple of years.

Only yesterday (March 9) Parmenion became the latest platform to be bought by a private equity house, in a £102m deal with Preservation Capital Partners.

In December private equity firm Anacap bought Novia after having bought Wealthtime earlier that year.

James Hay was bought by private equity firm Epiris in 2019 and it has since gone on to buy Nucleus, in a deal announced last month, creating an entity with assets of £45bn.