AJ Bell  

AJ Bell inflows down 25%

AJ Bell inflows down 25%
AJ Bell's new chief executive, Michael Summersgill, said high inflation has inevitably squeezed household finances

Inflows to AJ Bell’s adviser platform dropped by a quarter in the last three months of 2022, but the provider also managed to cut its outflows by 30 per cent.

In a trading update published today (January 19), AJ Bell recorded net inflows of £500mn to its adviser platform, based on inflows of £1.2bn and outflows of £700mn.

During the same three-month period at the end of 2021, a greater £1.6bn flowed into AJ Bell’s adviser platform, but it also suffered greater outflows of £1bn.

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In terms of customers, AJ Bell saw a 2 per cent uptick in customers joining its advised platform, edging up from 145,371 to 148,636.

New chief executive at AJ Bell, Michael Summersgill, credited the platform provider’s “dual-channel business model” for the latest growth.

Last year, AJ Bell launched Dodl - a direct-to-consumer (D2C) investment platform. This sits alongside Investcentre, its adviser platform.

“Whilst high inflation has inevitably squeezed household finances, we delivered £800mn of net inflows to the platform during the quarter,” said Summersgill.

“This performance demonstrates the value of our dual-channel business model which enables us to capture customer and asset growth from across the whole platform market.”

Summersgill took over as chief executive from AJ Bell founder Andy Bell last year.

Bell first announced his departure as chief executive in June but in September, he announced he was to also step down from the board of the company he created 27 years ago following talks with the Financial Conduct Authority over the risk of appointing a significant shareholder as a non-executive director.

Last year, AJ Bell revealed it had delayed the launch of its new adviser app 'Touch' by up to a year, having changed the go-live date from the backend of 2021 to a "phased launch" starting later in 2022.

A product of AJ Bell's acquisition of Adalpha in March 2021, the app was initially meant to be soft launched amongst a small group of advisers in 2021, before being launched more widely.

Touch was not mentioned in AJ Bell’s most recent trading update.

This week (January 12), fellow adviser platform Transact posted a trading update for the same period.

Like AJ Bell, inflows were down by around 25 per cent. But unlike AJ Bell, Transact’s outflows had risen by 11 per cent, from £688mn at the end of 2021 to £769mn at the end of 2022.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com