Investment Case

We are one of the UK's largest investment platforms, with assets under administration of £75.6 billion.

Our business

  • AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest investment platforms, operating at scale in both advised and direct-to-consumer (D2C) market segments
  • At the heart of our business is a clear and simple purpose: "We help people to invest"
  • We do this by providing easy-to-use investment platform propositions at a highly competitive price
  • We offer a wide range of investment options for retail investors and UK financial advisers via Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and Dealing Accounts
  • Our platform propositions are supplemented by AJ Bell Funds, Managed Portfolio Service, and guided investment solutions
  • We also offer a Cash savings hub to enable customers to manage their cash savings on our platform

Key investment highlights

We operate in an attractive retail market within the UK savings and investment industry

Structural factors supporting growth

Demographics – an ageing population that is both living and working for longer

Government and regulatory – drive for greater personal responsibility and self-provision of long-term savings, supported by pension freedoms and auto enrolment

Technology – digital age driving tech-savvy customers and asset flows from non-platform to platform

Financial – growing awareness of the UK savings gap and a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes

High barriers to entry

Scale – required to achieve sustainable profitability

Technology – significant investment required to create scalable and robust systems with high levels of straight-through processing

Brand – recognition and trust required both in advised and D2C market segments

Regulatory capital and compliance requirements – increasing as platforms become more widely adopted

We operate an award-winning platform in both the advised and D2C market segments, with in-house investment solutions

  • One of the UK’s fastest growing and most competitvely priced adviser platforms
  • Used by UK FCA authorised advisers with either advisory or full discretionary permissions
  • A wide range of account types: SIPPs, Retirement Investment Accounts, Stocks and Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, General Investment Accounts, Junior SIPPs, Junior ISAs, Offshore Bond accounts and a full range of income drawdown options
  • Wide investment range: equities, funds, investment trusts, ETFs and bonds. Full SIPP capability offering access to ‘whole-of-market’ investments
  • In-house investment solutions: low-cost Managed Portfolio Service and AJ Bell Funds
  • One of the UK’s fastest growing and most competitvely priced D2C investment platforms
  • Execution-only: 'investment guidance' provided but no 'personal recommendations' (i.e. no regulated investment advice)
  • Delivered online via an easy-to-use mobile app and website
  • A wide range of account types: SIPPs, Stocks and Shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, Dealing accounts, Junior SIPPs, Junior ISAs and a Cash Savings hub.
  • Mainstream retail investments: equities, funds, investment trusts, ETFs and bonds
  • Guided investment solutions: AJ Bell Funds, Favourite funds list, Investment trust select list and Ready-made portfolios
  • Investment help: Shares magazine articles, videos, daily market updates, weekly insight emails, podcasts and rich investment data
  • Highly competitive pricing

We have a growing base of loyal high quality customers

Advised platform
£339k average portfolio value

Total Customers137k

AUA£46.5bn

1.21accounts per customer

Average customer age57

Customer retention rate95%

Average annual fees received per £100,000 invested£190

D2C platform
£77k average portfolio value

Total Customers266k

AUA£20.4bn

1.27accounts per customer

Average customer age44

Customer retention rate95%

Average annual fees received per £100,000 invested£365

Total customers and AUA data correct as at 31 March 2022. All other data correct as at 30 September 2021.

We operate a profitable and scalable platform with long-term margin expansion opportunities

Hybrid technology model

Proprietary user interfaces - adaptable and easy to use

Back-office systems outsourced to proven software providers - scalable systems updated for regulatory change

Back-office re-platforming completed in 2014 - system fully embedded in the business

Efficient operating model

High levels of online customer servicing, straight-through processing and automation

Single operating model supports both platform propositions - centralised operation in our Exchange Quay HQ in Manchester

Operational gearing driving increase in profit margins
Low operational impact of additional monies invested by existing customers
Decreased marginal cost of adding new customers and their assets to the platform

High quality, largely recurring revenue from a diversified mix of revenue types

  • Diversified revenue model - mix of fixed fees and recurring charges provides a balance of inflation protection and resilience in the face of economic and capital market fluctuations.
  • Increasing recurring revenues - yields predictable and sustainable revenue streams

Our highly cash generative and capital light model supports a progressive dividend

Quick conversion of profits to cash

A high proportion of our profit is converted into cash in the year it is earned

Capital light and materially debt free business

Growth has been funded from retained earnings; it has not required primary fundraising or debt finance

Strong regulatory capital position

We maintain a healthy surplus over our regulatory capital requirement.

Dividend policy

The Board has adopted a dividend policy based on an expected 65% payout ratio

Surplus capital accrued (over and above regulatory requirements or other specific needs) will be returned to shareholders at an appropriate time

An entrepreneurial, founder-led management team

  • Our CEO, Andy Bell, co-founded AJ Bell in 1995. We are now one of the largest investment platforms in the UK
  • Members of our executive management team have an average tenure of over 10 years
  • Our Board governance structure has been in place for over a decade

Highly engaged staff providing an award-winning service

  • We employ over 1000 employees across offices in Manchester, London and Bristol
  • We have been consistently recognised as one of the UK's Best 100 Companies to Work For
  • We have won many industry awards across both the advised and D2C market segments
  • All of our employees were awarded free shares as part of our IPO in December 2018
AJ Bell is 1 of 100 best companies to work for 2021
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