News & Views – April 2019

Andy Bell, CEO - AJ Bell

Welcome to our Spring 2019 edition of News & Views.

This is a somewhat shorter edition than normal, not because I have been otherwise engaged in PLC world, but because – in a departure from convention – I asked the lang cat to help me out with an adviser’s view of platform transfers (this following the recent publication of the Investment Platform Market Study (IPMS) Final Report).

Whilst exit fees have grabbed the headlines from the platform review, it is the broken transfer market that is most in need of some TLC.

In the below report, the lang cat gives its unique spin on the barriers to transfer business that advisers face, whilst Rory Percival adds further colour with a firm reminder of advisers’ regulatory obligations in this area under PROD and COBS. In addition, Joel Adams of Lift Financial highlights some of the practical challenges of, and tips for, industrialising the transfer process, and if that isn’t enough for you, Mark Polson somehow manages to weave a playlist together from legendary bands such as The Clash, The Eagles and REM.

If there is one message to take away from this report, it is that leaving clients sat on legacy platforms is not an option without regulatory risk. To support this message, the report provides a simple analysis of the stark impact of charges between the cheapest, sorry ‘best value’, of the main platform players (modesty prevents me) and the most expensive (you will have to read the report to find out).

We recognise the challenges advisers face in transferring business onto a new platform, but we are open for transfer business and here to help, whether on a case-by-case basis or, like Lift Financial, on a more industrial scale.

Now though, let me introduce … Signal to Noise.


Andy co-founded AJ Bell in 1995, having spent a number of years working within the financial services sector. Graduating from Nottingham University in 1987 with a first class degree in Mathematics, he qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1993 and has built AJ Bell into one of the UK’s largest investment platforms.