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% in 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 the growth of 8.8%, Ascentric with the growth of 8.7% and in joint third place, Axa Elevate and Cofunds with the growth of 8.5%.
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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