Investment platform provider’s profits rise by 6%

Michael Summersgill

AJ Bell announced a rise in revenues of 12% and in increase in pretax profits of 6% to £58m in its year-end results.

The Manchester-based investment platform provider said it now had £2.8bn of assets under management in the year to 30 September, up from £2.2bn the previous year, and its multi-asset funds had outperformed investment association averages over one, three and five years.

New chief executive Michael Summersgill praised the firm’s staff for driving business forward, and announced am annual free share award worth £2,000 per year for all employees outside of the senior management team.

“This will further strengthen the sense of ownership amongst our people which is already a hugely important part of our culture,” he said. “This strong culture had been built over many years under the leadership of our co-founder, Andy Bell. It was a huge privilege to take over as CEO from Andy in October, having worked alongside him on the Board for 11 years. We have also implemented our succession plans for other executive roles during the year with a good blend of internal promotions and external recruits and I am confident we have the right team in place to take the business forward.”

Summersgill said the firm would continue to reduce costs and invest in simpler propositions to increase its share of managed and direct-to-consumer markets. This year it launched a commission-free investment app, Dodl, and would launch a new app, Touch, for the managed market in 2023.

“Looking ahead, whilst market volatility is likely to persist in the short-term, our focus is very much on the long-term. The structural growth drivers for the UK investment platform market remain strong, and with around two-thirds of our estimated £3 trillion target market still held off platform, we have a significant growth opportunity ahead of us. To ensure we capitalise on this, we will be investing more in our brand to improve awareness of AJ Bell and support our long-term growth ambitions. Our diversified revenue streams and efficient operating model ensure we can continue investing in our propositions, our people and our brand whilst continuing to deliver strong financial performance, and we are well positioned heading into 2023.”

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