AJ BellMay 27 2021

AJ Bell profits up 39% as it prepares launch of app-based platform

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AJ Bell profits up 39% as it prepares launch of app-based platform
BySally Hickey

AJ Bell has seen its pre-tax profits rise 39 per cent to £31.6m in the six months to the end of March, as it prepared the launch of an additional adviser platform.

The firm was bolstered by a 75 per cent increase in assets under management for the period, closing at £1.4bn.

Revenue was up 21 per cent to £74m, buoyed by a 17 per cent increase in total customers and a 15 per cent rise in assets under administration to £65bn.

The rise in customers was primarily on the group’s platform, which saw customers rise 18 per cent to 332,276 during the period.

The group will pay an interim dividend of 2.46p per share, up from 1.5p at the same time last year.

Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, said: "We have a resilient business model, our financial position is strong, we continue to grow market share and the outlook for the business remains positive."

"Our investment business has performed extremely well, supporting both our advised and direct-to-consumer platform propositions, with total AUM increasing by 75 per cent in the first half of the year. 

“The recent additions of the AJ Bell responsible growth fund and responsible managed portfolio service to our suite of investment solutions have proved very popular with customers and advisers.” 

The firm has now rebranded the recently acquired Adalpha platform to ‘Touch by AJ Bell’. The platform will sit alongside AJ Bell's existing platform, AJ Bell Investcentre, and clients will be able to access both platforms. 

The launch of the new platform will be phased, starting with an Isa and GIA offering, with a pension and additional investment options to be added in future.

The group expects to launch the initial services to a small group of advisers at the end of this year.

Bell added: "Our advised platform proposition remains very popular with advisers, who appreciate the wider adoption of digital processes to support their remote working and the highly competitive charging structure. 

“The recent acquisition of Adalpha will accelerate the development of a new mobile-focused platform to enhance our advised proposition and enable advisers to service a wider range of clients.”sally.hickey@ft.com