AJ Bell issues Q3 trading update as business “continues to perform well”

by | Jul 21, 2022

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AJ Bell plc, one of the UK’s largest investment platforms, today issued a trading update in respect of the three months ended 30 June 2022.

Performance overview

Platform business

Customer numbers increased by 14,120 in the quarter to close at 417,503, up 18% in the last year and 4% in the quarter, which represents strong ongoing organic growth in what is an uncertain economic environment
  o   Total advised customers of 141,856, up 16% in the last year and 3% in the quarter

o   Total D2C customers of 275,647, up 20% in the last year and 4% in the quarter

AUA closed at £63.5 billion, marginally up over the last year and down 5% in the quarter, primarily due to adverse market movements. During the quarter the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 6% whilst the MSCI World Index (GBP) fell by 9%
Net inflows were in line with those for Q2 across both the advised and D2C channels, although weaker investor sentiment in Q3 relative to the comparative quarter in 2021 led to a year-on-year decline
  o   Gross inflows in the quarter of £2.6 billion (2021: £3.2 billion)

o   Net inflows in the quarter of £1.6 billion (2021: £2.1 billion)

Dodl by AJ Bell (“Dodl”) was launched successfully in April. Customer and AUA numbers relating to Dodl are included within the D2C platform totals

 

 
 

AJ Bell Investments

Assets under management (“AUM”) closed at £2.5 billion, up 25% over the last year and up 9% in the quarter
Net inflows in the quarter were £271 million, in line with the underlying net inflows reported in the comparative quarter last year

 

Non-platform business

 
 
Customer numbers remained broadly flat, closing at 14,947
Net outflows in the quarter were £1.7 billion (2021: £0.3 billion), which reflected what was the final outflow of £1.7 billion in relation to the previously announced closure of AJ Bell’s institutional stockbroking business
As set out in previous guidance, the closure of the low margin institutional stockbroking business will not have a material impact on AJ Bell’s financial performance

Andy Bell, Chief Executive Officer at AJ Bell, commented: “Our trusted 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. During our third quarter, platform customer numbers continued on an upward trajectory and closed 18% higher than in the previous year, whilst platform net inflows of £1.6 billion 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 advised market has remained resilient in the face of current market headwinds and the strength of our proposition helped to deliver net inflows of £0.9 billion. We have recently reduced several charges on our advised platform, AJ Bell Investcentre, utilising our scale to further increase the value that advisers can offer to their clients. The phased launch of Touch by AJ Bell starting later in 2022 will further expand our offering for advisers, helping them to cater for clients looking for a digital service model.

“Our investments business is delivering on its commitment to offer a wide choice of investment solutions at low cost and with clear communications. Our investment solutions have outperformed against most competing products over the last 5 years, which is why they are valued by financial advisers, their clients and our retail customers. Net inflows of £271 million in the quarter equated to a healthy 12% of opening AUM, with total AUM hitting £2.5 billion.

 
 

“Overall, our business continues to perform well and our long-term growth prospects remain strong. The continued development of our customer propositions, together with our highly competitive pricing and strong customer service, means we are well positioned to continue growing the business and increasing our market share.”

Billy Mackay, managing director of AJ Bell Investcentre, comments: “A trend we are seeing more of in the advised market is firms giving consideration to the segmentation of their client base, with some shaping their offering to meet the varying needs of certain groups. This particularly applies to pensions where the simplicity of our Retirement Investment Account has seen demand grow amongst clients with more straightforward needs.

“We are also seeing strong demand for multi-asset investment options on the back of some firms considering outsourcing their investment processes and decisions. This is most typically via our range of Managed Portfolio Service options or our panel of third party MPS partners – all providing access to a diverse range of portfolio solutions that cater for clients’ differing objectives and appetite for risk.”

 

 

Three months ended

30 June 2022

Advised Platform

D2C Platform

Total Platform

Non-platform

 

Total

 

 

 

Opening customers

137,201

266,182

403,383

14,926

418,309

Closing customers

141,856

275,647

417,503

14,947

432,450

 

 

 

AUA and AUM (£billion)

 

 

Opening AUA

46.5

20.4

66.9

7.2

74.1

 

 

 

Inflows(1)

1.5

1.1

2.6

0.1

2.7

Outflows(2)

(0.6)

(0.4)

(1.0)

(1.8)

(2.8)

Net inflows/(outflows)

0.9

0.7

1.6

(1.7)

(0.1)

 

 

 

Market and other movements(3)

(3.1)

(1.9)

(5.0)

(0.3)

(5.3)

Closing AUA

44.3

19.2

63.5

5.2

68.7

 

 

 

Closing AUM

1.4

1.0

2.4(4)

0.1(5)

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three months ended

30 June 2021

Advised Platform

D2C Platform

Total Platform

Non-platform

 

Total

 

 

 

Opening customers

118,509

213,767

332,276

14,521

346,797

Closing customers

122,757

230,542

353,299

14,734

368,033

 

 

 

AUA and AUM (£billion)

 

 

Opening AUA

41.1

16.9

58.0

7.2

65.2

 

 

 

Inflows(1)

1.8

1.4

3.2

0.1

3.3

Outflows(2)

(0.7)

(0.4)

(1.1)

(0.4)

(1.5)

Net inflows/(outflows)

1.1

1.0

2.1

(0.3)

1.8

 

 

 

Market and other movements(3)

2.0

1.0

3.0

0.4

3.4

Closing AUA

44.2

18.9

63.1

7.3

70.4

 

 

 

Closing AUM

1.2

0.7

1.9(4)

0.1(5)

2.0

 

(1) Transfers-in, subscriptions, contributions and tax relief

(2) Transfers-out, cash withdrawals, benefits and tax payments

(3) Total investment returns and revaluations, net of charges and taxes

(4) Platform AUA which is held in AJ Bell’s Funds or Managed Portfolio Service

(5) Assets which are held in AJ Bell’s Funds or Managed Portfolio Service via third-party platforms

 

Contacts:

 

AJ Bell                                    

 

Shaun Yates, Investor Relations Director +44 (0) 7522 235 898
Charlie Musson, Brand and PR Director +44 (0) 7834 499 554

 

Historical customer numbers, AUA and AUM by quarter

Advised Platform

 

 

Qtr to 30

June

2021

Qtr to 30

September

2021

Qtr to 31

December

2021

Qtr to 31

March

2022

Qtr to 30

June

2022

 

Customers

122,757

126,920

131,610

137,201

141,856

 

AUA and AUM (£billion)

Opening AUA

41.1

44.2

45.8

47.5

46.5

 

Inflows(1)

1.8

1.7

1.6

1.6

1.5

Outflows(2)

(0.7)

(0.7)

(1.0)

(0.7)

(0.6)

Net inflows

1.1

1.0

0.6

0.9

0.9

 

Market and other movements(3)

2.0

0.6

1.1

(1.9)

(3.1)

Closing AUA

44.2

45.8

47.5

46.5

44.3

 

Closing AUM(4)

1.2

1.3

1.2

1.4

1.4

 

D2C Platform

 

 

Qtr to 30

June

2021

Qtr to 30

September

2021

Qtr to 31

December

2021

Qtr to 31

March

2022

Qtr to 30

June

2022

 

Customers

230,542

241,045

251,664

266,182

275,647

 

AUA and AUM (£billion)

Opening AUA

16.9

18.9

19.5

20.6

20.4

 

Inflows(1)

1.4

1.0

1.1

1.1

1.1

Outflows(2)

(0.4)

(0.4)

(0.3)

(0.4)

(0.4)

Net inflows

1.0

0.6

0.8

0.7

0.7

 

Market and other movements(3)

1.0

0.3

(0.9)

(1.9)

Closing AUA

18.9

19.5

20.6

20.4

19.2

 

Closing AUM(4)

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.9

1.0

 

Non-platform

 

 

Qtr to 30

June

2021

Qtr to 30

September

2021

Qtr to 31

December

2021

Qtr to 31

March

2022

Qtr to 30

June

2022

 

Customers

14,734

14,789

14,792

14,926

14,947

 

AUA and AUM (£billion)

Opening AUA

7.2

7.3

7.5

7.5

7.2

 

Inflows(1)

0.1

0.1

0.1

Outflows(2)

(0.4)

(0.1)

(0.2)

(0.1)

(1.8)

Net outflows

(0.3)

(0.1)

(0.1)

(0.1)

(1.7)

 

Market and other movements(3)

0.4

0.3

0.1

(0.2)

(0.3)

Closing AUA

7.3

7.5

7.5

7.2

5.2

 

Closing AUM(5)

0.1

0.1

0.1

 

Total closing AUA

70.4

72.8

75.6

74.1

68.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total closing AUM

2.0

2.2

2.1

2.3

2.5

 (1) Transfers-in, subscriptions, contributions and tax relief

(2) Transfers-out, cash withdrawals, benefits and tax payments

(3) Total investment returns and revaluations, net of charges and taxes

(4) Platform AUA which is held in AJ Bell’s Funds or Managed Portfolio Service

(5) Assets which are held in AJ Bell’s Funds or Managed Portfolio Service via third-party platforms

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