British stockbroker AJ Bell has introduced a new service, which will add managed portfolio services (MPS) from rival discretionary fund managers to its platform.

The new third-party MPS offering is available through AJ Bell Investcentre’s Retirement Investment Account, SIPP, ISA and General Investment Account.

FE FundInfo and LGT Vestra are the first partners to join AJ Bell’s Investcentre platform, with plans on to add Brewin Dolphin to the service soon.

AJ Bell also intends to add other third-party partners eventually based on demand.

AJ Bell Investcentre marketing director Billy Mackay said: “Advisers will now be able to utilise the investment expertise of a carefully selected panel of third-party MPS providers, while benefiting from our platform’s competitive charges, excellent service and intuitive functionality.

“It gives them more choice to help service their clients’ needs and we will be adding more MPS partners to expand the service further.”

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The new proposition will sit alongside the AJ Bell MPS option as well as the AJ Bell multi-asset funds, with clients being charged the firm’s existing platform fees and the fees levied by the third-party MPS provider.

AJ Bell was hit by the market turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with assets under administration (AUA) decreasing to £48.3bn at the end of 31 March 2020 from £54.7bn at the end of December 2019.

The firm’s total customer number at the end of March 2020 was 262,179.

In its Q3 trading update, the firm said that its total customer number increased 8% over the quarter to 282,619.

The firm’s AUA totalled £54.3bn as of 30 June 2020, up 12% from the end of March 2020.

In its Q3 update, AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “Markets have rebounded from the lows seen in the previous quarter but remain volatile and this has helped increase the value of assets under administration and customer trading volumes.”

At the same time, the firm is also looking to enter the retail cash savings market with the launch of the AJ Bell Cash savings hub via its D2C platform.