AJ Bell shares on the up as group sees value of assets held across its wealth management platforms top £70bn
- Shares in FTSE-250 listed AJ Bell have risen over 3% today
- Group added over 21,000 new customers to its books in last quarter
Investing platform AJ Bell has seen the value of assets held across its wealth management platforms top the £70billion mark for the first time.
Vying with the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor for custom, AJ Bell also saw its users rise by 21,023 in the latest quarter, bringing its total number of customers up to 353,299, marking a 30 per cent annual increase.
Shares in FTSE 250-listed AJ Bell are currently up 3.1 per cent or 12.60p to 420.60p. A year ago the company’s shares price were hovering around the 433.00p mark, meaning they have dipped by around 2 per cent over the past year.
In charge: AJ bell boss Andy Bell
With interest rates at rock bottom, many cash savers have been turning to investments over the past year or so in the hope of receiving better returns.
AJ Bell boss Andy Bell said he was delighted that assets under administration had risen above £70billion.
He said: ‘We are seeing the majority of new customers invest via tax-efficient ISAs and pensions as they take control of their financial future.
‘In the advised market, third quarter platform inflows were up 57% compared to the prior year.
‘The introduction of simplified pension options is proving particularly popular with advisers as it provides them with different price points and flexible investment options
‘Looking further ahead, the structural growth drivers for our sector remain strong and we are well placed to deliver further growth across our platform.’
AJ Bell’s net inflows in the quarter were £1.8billion, against £1.2billion at the same point a year ago.
Lockdown surge: Many people have dabbled in investing amid rock bottom interest rates
The group had seen its pre-tax profits grow 39 per cent to £31.6milion in the six months to the end of March.
Small investors piled into the stock market as the lockdowns helped some households save money and gave them more time to experiment with investing.
The average age of retail investors using AJ bell’s direct-to-consumer service was 38 in its first half, which is five years younger than the average of the wider customer base.
In the six months to 31 March, AJ Bell’s revenue from transaction fees, comprising dealing fees and pension scheme activity fees, grew by 45 per cent to £11.5million.
This upturn in transaction fee revenue was driven by higher levels of customer dealing, particularly towards the end of the period when market volatility took hold and investor trading picked up, the group said in May.