AJ Bell’s annual results for the year ending 30 September 2017 show that retail customers increased 17% to 164,500 (FY16: 140,450) and AUA increased 25% to £39.8 billion (FY16: £31.8bn).
The increase in AUA was driven primarily by strong net inflows of new business onto its investment platforms of £6.4 billion, an increase of 78% on the prior year (FY16: £3.6bn).
Revenue was up 17% to £75.6 million (FY16: £64.5m) and AJ Bell is continuing its progressive dividend policy with a 10% increase to 28.25p a share, equating to a total shareholder pay-out of £11.6 million.
These figures also absorbed the cost of moving into a new head office in Manchester to provide the office space required to support the rapid growth of the business.
This strong business growth is why AJ Bell is widely recognised as one of the most financially stable investment platforms in the market. It has no debt, net assets of £61.4 million and 472% coverage over its minimum required regulatory capital*.
AJ Bell is benefiting from the continued shift in the market away from old life office products to investment platforms, while the pension freedoms have also boosted demand for SIPPs, a particular strength for AJ Bell. 2017 also saw the launch of AJ Bell’s first range of in-house funds which cater for growing demand for low cost, multi-asset investment solutions.
Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, comments:
“Huge parts of the platform market are bogged down in expensive replatforming projects which will continue to hamper them in 2018. We are well past that and our pace of organic growth means we have no need for acquisitions to increase our scale.
“Our focus is on continued investment in our existing platform to benefit advisers and customers. We aim for our platform to be the easiest to use and the best value in the market, underpinned by quality service and support. Our new investment solutions have been well received by advisers and we will continue to build on that next year in line with feedback from advisers.”
*Under the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) IV - EU legislation that sets prudential rules for banks, building societies and investment firms.