May 2021

The Line of Duty finale may have been a crashing disappointment, but the platform industry’s Q121 performance was nothing short of brilliant, setting a plethora of new records both collectively and individually.  Asset growth was modest at 4.2% or £32.8bn for the quarter, on a par with the FTSE All Share, but it was enough to push the industry into £800bn+ territory.  And looking back to Q120 when industry assets nosedived on Covid news, assets are up by a whopping £197bn.  Advance by Embark and True Potential were home to particularly strong asset growth, both registering growth of 60%+ for the year.

After a year unlike any other in recent history, the fourth quarter was home to an unexpected and welcome upturn in fortunes and the first shoots of optimism for 2021 for the platform industry. Stock markets surged in November with the FTSE All Share index rising by 12.4% in the month, on the back of Covid19 vaccine approvals and Joe Biden winning the US presidential elections. This resulted in industry assets expanding by 7.6% in the fourth quarter to £785bn. To provide some context, annual growth was just £65bn, or 9%.

Investment distribution specialist Finscape today announced Ascentric, part of M&G PLC, as the latest (12th) addition to the line-up of platforms supplying distribution data to its recently launched investment distribution intelligence service. Ascentric has been a participant in the design of Finscape, but the agreement to supply data was delayed by the sale of the platform to M&G in 2020.