AJ Bell customers surge despite slide in assets under administration
Retail investment platform AJ Bell reported a surge in customer numbers in the past quarter but said that assets under administration dipped five per cent as volatile markets rocked investors’ bets.
Customers at the London-listed firm jumped 18 per cent to 14,120 in the three months to the end of June while assets under administration slipped five per cent to £63.5bn, which the firm said was primarily due to “adverse market movements”.
Net inflows to the firm hit £1.6bn meanwhile, down from £2.1bn in the same period last year, amid a more cautious environment for investors.
Boss Andy Bell, who announced he would step down from his role last month, said customer growth had bucked the investor nervousness that has gripped the markets this year.
“Our trusted, dual-channel investment platform has continued to attract thousands of new customers looking to invest for their future, despite a weakening in investor sentiment over the last six months,” he said in a statement today.
“During our third quarter, platform customer numbers continued on an upward trajectory and closed 18 per cent higher than in the previous year, whilst platform net inflows of £1.6bn were in line with Q2, a traditionally strong quarter which benefits from the increase in customer activity in the run up to tax year end.”
The firm’s investment arm notched a nine per cent jump in managed assets in the quarter to £2.5bn in the three months to June, up 25 per cent year on year, as net inflows hit £271m.
Bell said the firm’s investment solutions had “outperformed against most competing products over the last five years”.
“Overall, our business continues to perform well and our long-term growth prospects remain strong,” he added.
It comes as the firm prepares for a period of changeover as founder Andy Bell prepares to step down from the business in October after founding the firm in 1995.
Bell said last month the move was the “culmination of a long-term succession process that the board has been running for a number of years”.