Brexit: Southern UK advisers less confident for assets

BrexitFinancial advisers in the UK are split down geographical lines when it comes to views on European equity performance.

European equities are predicted to perform well by just 2% of advisers in the south of England, compared to 12% of advisers in the north.

Aegon, which published the findings, said this reflected the “falling investment confidence amid Brexit uncertainty” in the south of the country.

Also, the proportion of assets advisers are choosing to place in different types of investment strategies is linked to levels of affluence, Aegon said.

Advisers in the wealthier south are opting to place a higher proportion (35%) of assets in bespoke portfolios created using single-asset funds. This compares to 21% in the north.

Also, a higher proportion of assets in the north (51%) compared to the south (34%) are being placed in multi-asset funds, reflecting a more tempered risk appetite in the north.

Nervousness around Brexit is felt more strongly in the south of the country, according to Aegon.

Nick Dixon, investment director at Aegon, said: “The contrast shown in our research demonstrates that advisers are tailoring investment recommendations to suit needs of clients in their location.

“The North-South political and economic divide is widely known and it’s interesting to see this impact investment strategies that advisers are opting for, with single asset funds and [discretionary fund management] portfolios attracting a greater share of assets in the South, while multi-asset is favoured in the North of the country.”

The dichotomy is probably driven by three differences between the north and south of the UK: perceptions of Brexit; wealth and affordability; and risk appetite.

Just over 200 IFAs were surveyed in August.

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