// Press Releases

16 May 2018 Snow & shaky markets equals soft start to year for platforms

Stock markets corrected in the first quarter of the year, leaving the FTSE 100 and All-Share indices down by circa 8%. The beast from the East in March also froze any latent investor interest. As a result, platform assets fell from last quarter’s £592bn to £569bn at end March. However, not all of it was market related. Having sold its workplace platform to Scottish Widows, Zurich’s assets shrank to £8.7bn from its Q417 total of £28.8bn, accounting for the majority of the industry’s fall. On a like‐for‐like basis, Zurich’s assets grew marginally, earning it a place in the top five for the quarter. In Q118 we also welcomed the Hubwise and Embark platforms to the fold, who added c£4bn to industry assets. Download full Q118 platform press release here.
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15 May 2018 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.

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07 Mar 2018 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%.    

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02 Mar 2018 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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13 Feb 2018 Platform Industry Highlights 2017

The PLATFORM INDUSTRY is in extended lockdown phase because several platforms will not report their full-year results to the stock market until mid-March, a full month after the usual scheduled publication date of the Fundscape Platform Report. As a result, Fundscape is releasing headline figures and industry highlights for 2017.  The full report will be released in March once all PLC-owned platforms have published their results.
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13 Nov 2017 Platform assets to hit £1.4trn by 2022

After an ISA-fuelled first half of the year, platform activity in the third quarter was more muted. The summer season is traditionally quieter and political and economic uncertainty was on the rise. However, the steady flow of pension money meant that platform business remained strong.  Stock markets flat-lined in the quarter, but platform assets increased by £19bn (3.6%) to £560bn, nonetheless.
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14 Aug 2017 Platforms go from strength to strength

Q217 Fundscape Platform Press Release

Download press release here. Momentum continued to build in the platform industry during the second quarter as pension freedom and ISA business drove investment. Market growth was neutral in the second quarter, but assets under administration rose by £19bn (4%) to £539bn, while gross and net sales again climbed to new highs of £34bn and £14.4bn respectively.
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10 Jul 2017 BEYOND MS15/2.3 – CHALLENGING THE RESEARCH MARKET

Last year, the Gatekeepers report caused a stir in the industry by being the first to shine a light on potential biases in fund ratings. This year’s edition is bigger, better and bolder with a wealth of practical information to help fund managers navigate this challenging post MS15/2.3 market. As well as re-assessing the gatekeeper market, we’ve taken a closer look at the efficacy of active fund management, sorted the really active wheat from the closet-tracking chaff, and looked at the value chain from a regulatory perspective and the potential for further scrutiny and investigation.
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12 May 2017 Record-breaking start to the year for platforms

It was a cracking start to the year for the platforms industry with several new highs. Assets under administration rose by £31bn (6%) to £520bn, smashing through the £500bn ceiling, while gross and net sales set new records of £29bn and £13.3bn respectively. This was in marked contrast to the start of 2016 when economic factors and Brexit fears led investors to stay away from investments.
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10 Mar 2017 UK platform industry ends year on a high

Download this press release here. In a year overshadowed by political uncertainty, it is no surprise that investors sat on the side-lines waiting for the storm clouds to clear. But after three quarters of sluggish activity, sentiment improved and net sales rose to £10.5bn in the fourth quarter, the highest since Q415. However, it was not enough to correct the balance — annual net sales of £38bn were down 16% on the £45bn in 2015 and few platforms were able to improve on their 2015 figures.
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16 Nov 2016 Press release – Platform sales plummet in third quarter of 2016

Download the full press release here. Following the EU referendum, the FTSE 100 and the FTSE All-Share indices rocketed by 6% and 7% in the third quarter of the year, on top of the growth already experienced in late June. Against this backdrop, according to the Fundscape Platform Report, platform assets rose 9% from £432bn to £469bn by end September 2016.  Since the start of the year, UK platform industry assets have increased by £67bn, an increase of 17%.
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