AJ Bell  

AJ Bell profits up 13% as assets continue to rise

AJ Bell profits up 13% as assets continue to rise

AJ Bell’s profits climbed 13 per cent to £55.1m over the past financial year as the company's assets under administration continued to rise.

Revenue was up 15 per cent, to £145.8m as AJ Bell's assets reached £72.8bn - up from £56.5bn a year ago.

Chief executive Andy Bell credited the increases to the firm’s platform propositions, Investcentre and YouInvest, which he said “attracted record levels of new customer numbers and inflows”.

As announced in its trading update, AJ Bell’s advised and direct-to-consumer platforms brought in £7bn over the past financial year, up 43 per cent from the previous year.

Total customers were up also by 87,449 to 382,754, with its advised platform Investcentre growing by 17 per cent to 126,920 customers, while its direct-to-consumer platform YouInvest grew by 40 per cent to 241,045.

Assets on AJ Bell’s advised platform now sit at £36.3bn, compared to £13.4bn for its D2C platform.

“The D2C market continues to develop and grow quickly with lots of new entrants into the market,” the company said in its final results, published today (December 2).

It continued: “Whilst demand for advised products remains high, the number of advisers and advice firms remains fairly constant. We remain well positioned in both markets to meet the challenges that may arise and capitalise on the opportunities presented.”

Bell said the firm continues to see “significant long-term opportunities” in the investment platform market.

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for people to take more control over their financial future, with increasing numbers of people investing for the first time,” he explained. 

“We believe there is increasing demand for simplified, app-based investment propositions in both the D2C and advised markets, so we are investing in two which we will soon bring to market.” The chief executive cited its incoming D2C platform Dodl, and its incoming advised platform Touch, both app-only models set to launch next year.

He said AJ Bell will be investing “further” in its brand and marketing activities to support their initial phase of growth.

In line with its financial results, the firm has also appointed a new chief financial officer in Peter Birch, previously a partner in Deloitte’s auditing business.

He will join the firm in July 2022, taking over from Michael Summersgill.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com