// Press Releases

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.

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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%.    

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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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15 Aug 2012 Head winds get stronger for fund managers in Q2 2012

The usual flurry of ISA business at the beginning of the tax year gave fund sales a welcome boost in the second quarter. Net retail sales reached their highest level for a year. Managers with the right sort of funds benefitted. Meanwhile the trend towards more investment outsourcing by financial advisers continued. To see the rest of this press release click here.

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08 May 2012 First quarter 2012 press releases

The first quarter of the year was one of mixed results and mixed messages. For some fund managers, it was a good start to the year, but there was evidence of fewer fund managers winning business as investors retreated from riskier assets towards solutions-oriented funds. M&G led the stakes with a record-breaking £3bn+ in gross retail fund flows.

Platforms, on the other hand, were more able to recover their equlibrium partly as a result of a rebound in business and partly as a result of the ongoing adviser shift to platforms. Stock-market rises helped to push platform assets up to £189bn and there was a noticeable rise in gross and net flows.

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