OctopusFeb 3 2023

Seccl quadruples active clients as losses double

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Seccl quadruples active clients as losses double
'Our performance was in line with expectations,' said Seccl’s chief executive, David Ferguson

Adviser platform Seccl has quadrupled the number of active clients on its books, but pre-tax losses have nearly doubled from £3.6mn to £6.3mn.

In a Companies House filing published yesterday (February 2), Octopus-owned Seccl recorded 91,713 in active clients in the year to April 2022, compared to 19,068 the previous year.

The startup, which provides customised platform solutions to advice firms, also grew user firms from nine to 15 during the same period.

Seccl’s chief executive, David Ferguson, told FTAdviser since April last year it has acquired a further five user firms, taking the number of advice firms using its technology to 20.

As a result of growing client numbers, Seccl's assets under administration doubled last year, from £274mn to £529mn.

Meanwhile, staff costs went up to £4.7mn, from £2.7mn, as the firm's headcount jumped from 41 to 76. Tax charges also shot up from around £640,000 to £1.2mn.

Since filing its accounts, the firm has grown assets on the platform further to £800mn, its headcount now sits at 110.

In the filing, it said "there is felt to be insufficient certainty of profits in the near future".

Ferguson said Seccl's performance in the last financial year was in line with expectations.

"We now power more than 20 of the UK's most advanced investment platforms – a number we expect to grow materially over the coming year," said Ferguson

"We continue to invest in a way that will allow us to deliver on our substantial ambition, by transforming a sector that is ripe for change.

"The old platform market is analogue, expensive and increasingly misaligned with the customer. We're working very hard to change that."

In the filing, it says the startup “previously faced significant risks” around availability of capital but that that capital provided by investor Octopus has reduced this risk.

Back in August 2019, Octopus Investments acquired Seccl for £10mn. Seccl’s chair, Ruth Handcock, is also chief executive of Octopus Investments.

Seccl's boss, Ferguson, previously founded Nucleus in 2006 before joining the Bath-based startup in April last year.

Ferguson grew Nucleus to £20bn assets on the platform before leaving in September 2021 following its acquisition by James Hay.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com