Aviva platform flows down 5% as assets drop £2bn

Aviva platform flows down 5% as assets drop £2bn
Aviva Group CEO, Amanda Blanc

Aviva Wealth’s platforms suffered a 5 per cent dip in net flows over the first quarter of this year, adding it to a number of platforms which struggled to grow their assets during the period.

In the three months to March 31, flows to its direct-to-consumer and advised platforms totalled £1.454bn, compared to £1.531bn this time last year.

Assets under management for Aviva’s wealth arm also fell 1 per cent, or £2bn, over the three-month period, from £152bn to £150bn.

The business blamed market volatility which it said resulted in “lower investment activity and switching”.

Aviva’s group chief executive officer, Amanda Blanc, was also quick to point out in results published today (May 18) that last year the firm’s advised platform was “the number one in the market for net flows”.

Across the entirety of 2021, Aviva attracted the most net flows of any advised platform in the UK market for the first time, according to Fundscape. The provider does not, however, report advised and direct-to-consumer flows separately in its results.

The Wealth and Aviva Investors business, which includes the workplace platform, recorded an overall 6 per cent dip in net flows for the first three months of 2022, from £2.896bn in Q1 2021 to £2.721bn.

Transact and AJ Bell have also posted difficult quarters which they have put down to unprecedented market conditions such as the Russia-Ukraine war.

According to the latest Fundscape data, True Potential was the only advised platform to grow its assets during the period.

In its results, Aviva said its wealth arm partly offset growth in its annuities and equity release, and protection and health, businesses.

Overall, wealth sales were 3 per cent lower over the year. Value of new business was also 9 per cent lower, totalling £49mn versus the £54mn it brought in this time last year which it put down to lower volumes.

Meanwhile, the firm’s annuities and equity release business recorded a 22 per cent uptick over the year in value of new business premiums, from £1.047bn to £1.279bn. The protection and health business was also up 10 per cent, from £630mn to £696mn.

"UK & Ireland Life sales are up 2 per cent, and net flows into our wealth business remained strong at £2.7bn, despite market volatility,” said Blanc.

“Our adviser platform is now the number one in the market for net flows, and in annuities and equity release we saw increased bulk purchase annuities volumes, written with good returns.”

The product provider also confirmed its £385mn acquisition of Succession Wealth, announced in March, remains on track to complete in the second half of 2022.