// Press Releases

10 Nov 2014 Summer slows the pace of platform sales – third quarter 2014

New style ISAs, pension reform and an improving UK economy set the scene for a good start to the third quarter of the year for platforms. July was a bumper month, but the summer holiday season, growing economic uncertainty and the Scottish vote eventually took their toll on the quarter’s flows.

Total platform assets under administration rose by £9.7bn to £326.4bn, a rise of 3.2% on the previous quarter, but 19.3% on the third quarter of 2013. Gross sales for the first three months of the year totalled £19.4bn, up 13.6% on like-for-like sales in 2013, but down on last quarter’s £21.2bn.  It was the same for net sales, which rose by 3.9% to £9.4bn relative to the third quarter of 2013, but were down 15% quarter on quarter.

Click here to read the rest of the press release.

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25 Sep 2014 Navigating the post-RDR landscape in the UK – a new report by Fundscape

Fundscape has just published Navigating the post-RDR landscape in the UK, a report commissioned by Alfi to assess the impact of RDR on the UK and its potential impact (in the form of MiFID2) on the European fund industry. It is available  to all industry professionals at no charge.

The Alfi press release is available here.  To view the presentation click here. Click on image below to download the full report.

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08 Aug 2014 Record platform sales in the second quarter

The second quarter kicked off with a bang. Stock markets were on the rise and one ISA season was coming to its feverish close while another was just beginning. The UK’s ongoing economic recovery, shock budget announcements and the lead up to the world cup also provided that all-important feel-good factor that helps to drive investment.

Total platform assets under administration rose by £14bn to £317.3bn, a rise of 5% on the previous quarter, while new records were set for sales. Gross sales for the first three months of the year totalled £21.2bn, up 19% on like-for-like sales in 2013, and net sales rose by 21% to £11.0bn.

To download the full press release click here.

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15 May 2014 Robust start to the year for platforms in Q1

Owing to geopolitical uncertainty, the first quarter of 2014 was more volatile for investment growth, but platforms swam against the tide thanks to strong sales. In the first three months of the year, the stock market contracted by 3%. Platforms are inevitably affected by market movements, but instead of shrinking, total platform assets actually increased by 3.3% to £304bn over the quarter.

Click here to read the full press release.

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07 Mar 2014 Year ends on a high for UK platform industry

Despite the pessimism that had permeated the industry before RDR was introduced, 2013 turned out to be an extraordinary year for platforms thanks to the convergence of steadily improving markets, a marked upturn in investor sentiment and the introduction of RDR. The net effect was that platform assets grew by £98bn in 2013, rising from £196bn at the end of 2012 to £294bn in 2013 — a growth rate of 50%.    

To view the rest of this release, click here.

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22 Nov 2013 Vertical integration

Last week we published the quarterly Platform Report, which attracted much attention.  Total industry assets now stand at £267bn, and although it was the quietest quarter of the year, gross and net flows were pretty robust at £17bn and £8.9bn.  (Download press release here and 60 second reviews here).

Market sentiment is driving sales, which is good for the platform industry, but RDR has also been a boon for platforms.  The Distribution report is due out early next week, but we can reveal that platform market share jumped yet again and now stands at over 51% — a significant change considering their market share of 41% in Q4 2012.

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07 Nov 2013 A sizzling summer for the platform industry – third quarter update

The summer period is usually one of the quieter quarters of the year, but an improving economic outlook and the ongoing effect of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) led to a bumper quarter for platforms. Total platform assets under administration were £267bn, up 7% on the second quarter, and comfortably ahead of FTSE All Share growth of 5%.

The largest platforms by assets under administration are Cofunds, Fidelity and Hargreaves Lansdown*. In terms of percentage growth, however, the fastest growing platforms in the third quarter were Nucleus with growth of 8.8%, Ascentric with growth of 8.7% and in joint third place, Axa Elevate and Cofunds with growth of 8.5%.

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05 Jun 2013 Fee fi fo fum, RDR has finally come

With stock markets soaring and the ISA season in full swing, there were reasons to expect a bullish start to the year. However, austerity measures and advisers getting used to life under RDR put a brake on flows. According to the quarterly Distribution Report, gross sales across the fund distribution universe were £28.2bn in the first quarter of the year, down 2% on the previous quarter. But net sales dropped even more markedly to £3bn, a 34% fall on the previous quarter. ISA sales were particularly disappointing.

Click here to read or download the full press release.

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26 Mar 2013 L&G acquires Cofunds

After months, if not years of rumour, L&G has finally acquired the Cofunds platform.  The insurance company was one of six shareholders that first came together to challenge Fidelity in the supermarket world more than 12 years ago.  Since then, Cofunds has grown to assets of more than £50bn and is the leading platform in the market by AUA. It grew and became part of the established platform industry, losing its newcomer, cutting-edge status in the process.  Which may well be why the other five stakeholders were willing to sell to L&G — that and the fact that running a platform business is very expensive.

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30 Nov 2012 Distribution flounders in the third quarter…

Fundscape's Q3 Distribution Report has just been published.  Overall, it was a difficult third quarter for fund distribution.  Gross sales totalled £22.1bn and were down 5% on the previous quarter and also on the same period in 2011. but highlighting the lack of sticky business was the fact that net sales fell 41% to £2bn.  The press release is available here.

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09 Nov 2012 RDR is an increasing distraction…

The third quarter of 2012 served up mixed fortunes for the fund industry.  Poor investor sentiment in the early summer contributed to lower sales and led to a dismal August with the lowest net retail sales since October 2008. Flows improved in September on the back of rising stock markets but fund managers report an increasingly distracted adviser community as the RDR deadline approaches.  To read the rest of this press release, click here.

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15 Aug 2012 Rollercoast ride for platforms in Q2 2012

Stock markets were up and down like a rollercoaster in the second quarter and platform industry assets lost ground, falling -0.3% to £189bn. But despite the volatility, according to Fundscape’s confidential Platform Report gross sales for the second quarter were up by 1.3% on the previous quarter to £12.2bn, while net sales rose 5% to £6.2bn. To see the rest of this press release click here.

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