A high viral load sent stock markets around the world into shock in March. As a result, there was a collective contraction in platform assets of £78bn to £633bn, an 11% drop, although this was considerably better than the ~ 25% fall suffered by stock markets worldwide.
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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.
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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.