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Insider – May 2022

1 month ago

I recently returned from a trip to Seville. I love Spain and usually come back from my holidays there feeling happy and refreshed, but unfortunately not on this occasion.

A 10-hour flight delay on the way out, a heat wave and a loss after extra time and penalties put paid to that. Also, a flight crew trying to handle a plane full of Glaswegians who have had the benefit of 10 hours in the airport bar isn’t something I will forget in a hurry. Fortunately, my mood has been lifted (a little) by some positive news in this issue of Insider, which includes details of charge removals, two new Business Development Managers, strong financial results and a great five-year track record for our funds.

Removal of some charges

As the business grows, we are always looking for ways to share economies of scale with you and your clients. We are therefore pleased to announce our latest example of where we are once again reducing a number of charges to make our products even more competitive.

With effect from 10 June, we will be removing the following charges:

  • Any cash transfers-in to a SIPP will be free of charge. The current charge of £60 plus VAT will still apply for in-specie transfers-in.
  • The SIPP setup charge will no longer apply for any applications that are instructed online, regardless of the investment option. Any paper-based applications will still attract the setup charge of £120 plus VAT.
  • Any proportionate disinvestments on the Funds & Shares Service will now be free of charge, reduced from £1 per investment included in the instruction.

Following that, our platform custody charge will also be removed from 1 July 2022 for any cash held in portfolios within the Funds & Shares Service.

Taken together, these changes will enable you to offer your clients even greater value when investing via our platform and reinforce our position as one of the most competitive platforms available.

AJ Bell’s interim results

We recently announced AJ Bell’s interim results for the six-month period ended 31 March 2022, and I’m pleased to say it was another very positive set of figures. Strong organic growth means we added another 35,555 customers, and attracted net inflows of £2.8 billion – bringing our assets under administration up to £74.1 billion. Revenue now sits at £75.5 million (HY21: £73.9 million) and profit before tax is £26.1 million (HY21: £31.6 million).

I’m particularly pleased to note that our platform retention rate, which has always been excellent, has now risen even higher to 95.4%. Thank you for your continued support.

Meet our new Business Development Managers

You will already know that we changed the structure of our Business Development Team a while back, bringing the Southern regions under the leadership of Alison Mollard as Head of Sales South, and the Northern regions under Danny Arthurs as Head of Sales North.

Following on from this, I’m now delighted to welcome to the business our latest team members with two new Business Development Managers for the Midlands, and for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Billy Singh – Business Development Manager for the Midlands

Billy has worked in the financial services industry since 1998, starting off with a global commodity trader, before spending a decade in stockbroking and investment management. He then moved to the intermediary sector, concentrating on developing relationships with financial advisers across various platform and MPS solutions.

Kenny Boyd – Business Development Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland

Kenny brings enormous experience with him to his new role, having worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years. The last 10 of those years were spent working as a Business Development Manager at another UK platform provider, so I am sure that Kenny will hit the ground running here at AJ Bell.

I have no doubt that both Billy and Kenny will help further improve the service we offer in the Midlands and in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and I wish them both the very best of luck in their new roles.

Five years of AJ Bell Funds

Our AJ Bell Funds range recently reached its fifth anniversary – an important milestone for those interested in comparing their track record. AJ Bell Investments’ Managing Director, Kevin Doran, wrote an article about it at the time, but in case you missed it you can find the full article here.

The great news is that all five of the original AJ Bell Funds outperformed their IA peer group average over the five years, with four making it into the first quartile. Kevin and his team achieved this by ensuring the funds are sufficiently diversified to deliver good performance even in falling markets. In addition, their long-term approach enabled some key strategic asset allocation decisions that really helped to drive returns.

It’s worth noting that as the funds have grown, we’ve been able to consistently cut charges. As a result, the OCF is now just 0.31% p.a. – down from over 0.5% p.a. at launch. More evidence, if it’s needed, of our drive to create efficiencies and pass them on for the benefit of your clients where at all possible.

Accessing our website using Internet Explorer 11

Following Microsoft’s decision to stop providing its Internet Explorer (IE 11) browser with new updates, we have had to announce that we will stop supporting the browser on our website.

Without updates from Microsoft, the performance of IE 11 is likely to suffer, and this will have a knock-on effect on your experience of using our website. Continuing to use IE 11 will also leave your firm more open to cyber and fraud threats.

In light of this, we recommend that you switch to Microsoft Edge, which offers the highest-rated protection against both phishing attacks and malware. Alternatively, you could switch to the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari instead.

If you have any queries about this, please email us at enquiry@investcentre.co.uk or contact our Adviser Support Team on 0345 83 99 060.

Don’t miss the AJ Bell 3 Valley Rally

Entry is now open for the AJ Bell 3 Valley Rally – which will take place in the stunning Val Thorens on Saturday 15 – Tuesday 18 April 2023.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Snow Camp are putting together their biggest trip yet in the French Alps, with a fundraising target of £100,000 to support their life-changing work with inner-city kids across the UK – find out more about their work here.

Teams of four will compete over two days, taking on multiple snow sports activities, including biathlon, snowshoe hike, downhill parallel slalom racing, team distance challenge, orienteering and a new addition for 2023 – the zip wire challenge. On no other than Europe’s longest zip wire! As a long-term supporter of the charity, Andy Bell will be taking part for his 5th consecutive year – hoping to take home the AJ Bell 3 Valley Rally cup, all whilst raising money for a great cause.

The base for the event will be the stunning Le Fitz Roy – a 5-star hotel with Michelin-starred chef, top-of-the-range spa, and ski in / ski out access. For those who reserve a room by 30 June 2022, you’ll receive an early bird discount of 20%.

The entry fee for the event is £500 per person (£2,000 per team), with a fundraising target of £5,000 per team – giving you 11 months ahead to fundraise.

To join Andy, and find out more information, visit switch180.org.uk/events/aj-bell-3-valley-rally/.

Author
Profile Picture
Billy Mackay
Name

Billy Mackay

Job Title
Managing Director, AJ Bell Investcentre

Billy joined AJ Bell in June 2008, having previously worked for a major platform provider for over 11 years. He has been involved in financial services for over three decades in a variety of sales and marketing roles. Today, Billy is responsible for AJ Bell Investcentre’s development roadmap, marketing, distribution and adviser service proposition and also for the development and distribution of AJ Bell Custody Solutions.

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