Home Money AJ Bell shares fall as founder Andy Bell whips up £28.1m stake

AJ Bell shares fall as founder Andy Bell whips up £28.1m stake

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AJ Bell founder Andy Bell reduces stake to 18.7%
  • Andy Bell cuts his stake to 18.7% after selling 7.5 million shares of the platform
  • Two AJ Bell executives also sold a portion of their shares after Thursday’s bumper earnings.

AJ Bell shares fell on Friday after the investment platform’s co-founder sold a large chunk of his shares.

Regulatory filings show that Andy Bell, who founded the company with Nicholas Littlefair in 1995, sold 7.5 million shares in the group at 375 pence each, raising £28.1 million.

Bell’s stake in AJ Bell now stands at 18.7 percent and he is prevented from selling his remaining stake of more than 77,000,000 shares for 90 days from May 29.

AJ Bell founder Andy Bell reduces stake to 18.7%

AJ Bell stock They were down 3.7 percent to 388.5 pence in early trading, having added more than 30 percent since the beginning of 2024.

A separate filing on Thursday night shows that AJ Bell’s advised CEO Billy Mackay and its chief technology officer Amber Tagari also sold a portion of the shares.

Mackay sold 50,882 ordinary shares at approximately 393 pence each, while Tagari sold 4,963 shares at 403 pence.

All three are likely to have benefited from the excellent gains in AJ Bell shares on Thursday, which saw the platform post a strong first half result.

AJ Bell raised its dividend after pre-tax profits rose 47 per cent to £64.1m in the six months to the end of March, while revenue grew 27 per cent to £131.3m of pounds.

The platform’s assets under management have grown to more than £80 billion as of the end of March, while its shares have risen almost 80 per cent since listing in 2018.

Hurdles looming for AJ Bell’s future, as well as that of its rivals, include growing competition in the investment platform space and continued scrutiny of cash “double dipping” by the Conduct Authority Financial.

Rival Hargreaves Lansdown’s co-founder Peter Hargreaves is also reported to be considering cashing in on his stake.

Hargreaves said last night he was “looking at all options” after a shock foreign takeover bid put the investment platform’s future in doubt.

It said it was “watching with interest” after the board rejected a £4.67 billion approach from a consortium including private equity group CVC and Abu Dhabi investors.

The tycoon, 77, who is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the company, owns a nearly 20 per cent stake valued at just over £1 billion.

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