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%.
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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