AJ Bell grows platform assets 11% thanks to acceleration in direct customers

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AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJB) reported that customer numbers grew 27% and net inflows by 28% in the year to the end of September, driven by an acceleration in direct-to-consumer growth.

Assets under administration on the investment platform rose 11% to £49.7bn by the end of the FTSE 250 group’s financial year, with total assets under administration up 8% to £56.5bn.

READ: AJ Bell sets up bank account platform as trading booms sees profits soar

Numbers of customers on the investment platform increased organically by 62,925 or 29% to 281,094, with direct client numbers up 43% to just over 172,000 and advised client up 11% to almost 109,000. In the previous year, D2C customer numbers grew 28% and advised by 13%.

For comparison, market leader Hargreaves Lansdown added 188,000 clients in its year to end-June, to take its total to 1.41mln.

AJ Bell welcomed underlying net inflows of £2.1bn from direct customers in the year, up 50% on the prior year, while advised inflows were up 11% to £2bn.

Chief executive Andy Bell hailed the operational resilience of the company to meet the needs of customers and advisers throughout the lockdown.

“We continued to enhance our platform propositions this year as part of our growth strategy,” he said, with a new streamlined pension product that he said has been very popular with financial advisers and the more recent launch of a cash savings ‘hub’ for retail investors.

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