Stock markets yoyoed and closed the third quarterly in roughly the same place as they started thanks to geopolitical concerns at home and abroad. In the UK, the third quarter kicked off with the appointment of hardline Brexiteer, Boris Johnson, as party leader and Prime Minister. His pledge to leave the EU on 31 October provoked fears of a no‐deal Brexit. At the same time, the global economy was beginning to slow and the US-China trade war added to uncertainty.
Fundscape and GBi2 have published Gatekeepers 2019, the third annual edition of their Gatekeeper research. The report accompanies the quarterly Gatekeepers database and provides an overview of Gatekeepers as at June 2019.
Against a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty, UK investors were ultra‐cautious in the second quarter. Gross sales totalled £29.6bn but net new platform business of £6.6bn was the lowest total seen since the fourth quarter of 2012. As a reminder, this was when RDR was about to be unleashed on the UK and the advice and platform industry had their heads down and working hard to get ready.
Technology supplier, Altus, and research house, Fundscape, have formed a strategic partnership to develop new solutions and products for the financial services industry. The joint venture will combine rigorous systems engineering with in-depth industry expertise to deliver innovative, market-leading services.
THERE MAY BE PROBLEMS AHEAD…
By the end of March 2019, stock markets had recovered from the severe whipping they’d received in the last quarter of 2018. All major markets were home to stellar growth, with even the FTSE All Share rising by 8.3% despite Brexit concerns. The upturn pushed UK platform assets up 7.3% to £637bn, a vast improvement on Q418, but only £4bn higher than Q318’s closing balance of £633bn. Hargreaves Lansdown, D2C platform and the UK’s largest distributor, moved into pole position as the UK’s largest investment platform.
It’s been a tough year for fund groups and platforms alike with Brexit and other worries cooling the markets. Initially, platforms were cushioned from the worst by ongoing DB transfer business, but by the second half of the year that business was also drying up. Year-on-year asset growth was a meagre 4%, while gross and net sales have plummeted. The economics are relatively unchanged, but investors have been spooked by Brexit and US-China trade wars.
For full press release click here.
The PLATFORM INDUSTRY is in extended lockdown phase as several companies will be reporting their full-year results between now and 15th March 2019. We’re unable to provide individual platform data until the last PLC has reported its results to the stock market. As a result, this is the first of two press releases for Q418/2018 platform data.
Fundscape is pleased to announce the appointment of Gavin Fielding as Editorial Director as of November 2018. Gavin (Gav) joins Fundscape after a 27-year career at Aviva where he developed, researched and wrote about investments. His last position was that of Investment Research Manager for the Strategic Partnership division. Gavin will continue to be based in York and will be Fundscape’s representative in the North.
In July the UK government finally agreed an exit strategy with the EU and the outlook began to look rosier. But as the quarter wore on, resignations and vocal criticism abounded dampening investor sentiment and sending stock markets into the red — the FTSE 100 and the FTSE All Share indices fell by 1.8% in the quarter. Download the release here.
The UK fund industry is the largest domestic and most dynamic fund market in Europe with assets of £1.2trn (June 2018). Fund groups from all over the world arrive in the UK to sell their funds, but find it difficult to gain a foothold. On the surface the distribution opportunities seem substantial, but the landscape is complex, multi-layered and advice-driven and fund groups will need multi-channel strategy to succeed.
After significant falls in Q1, stock markets began to level out at the end of March... just in time for the last two weeks of the ISA season. By the close of Q218, the UK stock market had recovered most of its lost ground, with the FTSE 100 and FTSE All Share rebounding by 8% and performing better than most major stock markets in Q2.