AJ Bell Investments’ has debuted its first reporting of assets under management (AuM) for the quarter ending 31 December 2020, standing at a £1bn ($1.3bn). This figure represents a 100% increase over the last year, with AuM at £0.5bn at the close of 2019.
In the final quarter, net inflows of AuM were £147m, an increase of 91% when compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Other highlights across the firms’ final quarter included an increase of 6% in customer numbers and total net inflows of £1.6bn, double the level reported for the same quarter in 2019. Assets under administration (AUA) increased by 11%.
Across the whole year, the firm registered a 14% increase in AuA, representing a figure of £62.5bn, and a 30% increase in customer numbers to 312,309.
Andy Bell, CEO at AJ Bell, regards the figures as evidence of the positive progress made in the investment business: “Our low-cost, multi-asset funds are proving to be popular in both the advised and D2C markets and our managed portfolio service is one of the best value offerings in the advised market, with an annual management charge of 0.15% following the recent removal of VAT from our charges.”
Centring on the firm’s platform business, 2020 was a year of improvement across the board. Total platform customers closed at 298,053, an increase of 31%, whilst platform net inflows increased by 67% to £1.5bn. Platform AuA increased by 17% to a total of £55.2bn.
Bell continued: “We have had a strong start to our financial year as customer numbers, net inflows, AUA and AUM all showed significant growth in the quarter. Increased awareness and trust in our brand continued to attract new advisers and customers to our easy-to-use, competitively priced platform.
Comparing figures for the two segments, Bell commented: “In the advised market the addition of the Retirement Investment Account to our existing product range ensures we are highly competitive on service and price across all client scenarios and portfolio sizes, which has helped drive strong net inflows of £0.8bn.
“In the D2C market we continued to see increased demand for our easy-to-use, low-cost investment platform, enabling our customers to control and manage their investments and long-term savings.”
2020 also saw the introduction of the AJ Bell Responsible Growth Fund in response to rising demand for ESG investment solutions. According to Bell, this was the firms “most successful fund launch yet.”
Moving forward, Bell hopes the firm will continue to build on this success with the launch of a Responsible Managed Portfolio Service for advisers in the coming months.
Bell concludes: “Our market leading platform propositions and investment solutions position us well to benefit from the need for people to take control of their long-term financial affairs and we approach the traditionally busy tax year end period with confidence.”