AJ Bell’s revenues and profits soar on record new customer base
Record new customer numbers and net inflow see AJ Bell’s revenue and profit soar
- The Greater Manchester-based company’s revenues rose 15% to £145.8 million
- Trade has returned to more regular levels as the UK economy reopens
- AJ Bell creates two new platforms, Dodl and Touch, to try to expand growth
Financial services firm AJ Bell has again delivered a solid set of results showing a significant increase in its profits and revenues last year, thanks to the acquisition of a record number of new customers.
The Greater Manchester-based company’s revenues rose 15 per cent to £145.8 million in the 12 months to 30 September, while pre-tax profits rose 13 per cent to £55.1 million as a further 87,000 customers joined.
The company said sales were boosted by its platform business which generated record inflows of £6.4bn, bringing total assets under management to over £70bn for the first time.
Boom times: AJ Bell attracted a record number of new customers last year. Interest in investment platforms has soared since the pandemic, especially among younger investors
It also attributed the increase to very high trading in funds and stocks during the UK’s national winter lockdown, and the recovery of global asset prices above or close to their pre-pandemic highs.
Trade has returned to more regular levels as the UK economy has reopened and restrictions have been eased, but the company said any hike in interest rates from their current lows would likely boost revenues further.
It expects demand for trading platforms to continue to rise as “an increasing number of people seek the security and peace of mind that a trusted investment platform can provide.”
AJ Bell is creating two new platforms to capitalize on this trend; Touch, aimed at financial advisors, and Dodl, a commission-free trading app aimed at younger investors announced earlier this week.
Chief executive and founder Andy Bell said, “We continue to see significant long-term opportunities in the investment platform market. The pandemic has made it clear that people need to take more control over their financial future, with more and more people investing for the first time.
“We believe there is an increasing demand for simplified, app-based investment propositions in both the D2C and advised markets, so we are investing in two that we will be bringing to market shortly.”
Happy Days: AJ Bell said he expects demand for trading platforms to continue to grow as “an increasing number of people seek the security and peace of mind that a trusted investment platform can provide.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in the number of retail trading apps, especially among younger people who are investing for the first time and those with more cash in their pockets.
Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and Freetrade are just a few investment platforms that have reported significant growth in the number of customers using their service since March 2020.
Market volatility has increased in recent days due to concerns about the new Omicron coronavirus variant and its potential economic impact.
AJ Bell also announced today that Deloitte partner Peter Birch will take over as Chief Financial Officer from July next year, replacing Michael Summersgill, who has become the company’s deputy CEO.
Birch noted that he had “followed AJ Bell’s progress for many years” and “has always been impressed by its strong culture and customer focus, which has made it one of the UK’s leading investment platforms”.
He added: “It is an exciting time to join the company and I look forward to helping the company deliver on its long-term growth strategy.”
Shares in AJ Bell fell 1.6 percent to 388.8 pence during early morning hours today.