Platform assets rise despite pre-Brexit jitters

Assets held on UK fund platforms increased in the second quarter of the year by £20 billion (€23 billion) – a period that covered the UK’s Brexit vote and saw investors head to safe-haven investments. Total assets held on platforms were £432.5 billion at the end of June, a higher rise than the FTSE All Share (4.2% versus 3.5%) over the same period. Yet data from Fundscape showed that while gross flows for Q2 were up from the previous quarter, net sales fell to £9.57 billion – the lowest total since Q3 2014 when sales were £8.8 billion. Net sales of individual savings accounts were down 79% on a like-for-like basis compared to 2015, but pension products and workplace savings together accounted for £6.5 billion of net flows. Bella Caridade-Ferreira, chief executive officer of Fundscape, said this showed investors were “resilient and pragmatic” when saving for the long term. Cofunds topped the list of platforms with the largest assets (£77.5 billion), though Aegon will gain from this when it buys Cofunds from Legal & General – a move announced last week. After the deal goes through at the end of year, Aegon’s assets will rise to £110 billion. Alliance Trust has already seen its assets boosted by the acquisition of Stocktrade, adding £3.4 billion. Direct-to-consumer platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, led net sales for both Q2 and the first half of the year, with £1.8 billion and £3.2 billion, respectively. ©2016 funds europe

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