Purchases almost triple pre-RDR levels.

Latest research from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) using Matrix Financial Clarity demonstrates that 2015 was a record year for adviser and wealth manager purchases of investment companies via platforms.

Adviser purchases totalled £686.9m in 2015, an increase of 43% on the previous year (£479.5m) and some 72% higher than in 2013 (£399.8m). Adviser purchases of investment companies in 2015 were nearly triple the 2012 pre-RDR level (£236.6m).

While purchases in 2015 were bolstered by the launch of Woodford Patient Capital in April, it would nevertheless have been a strong year without it. Even omitting Q2 altogether, purchases for the other three quarters of 2015 were still up 17% on the same three quarters of 2014, from £353.9m to £415.1m.

Ian Sayers, Chief Executive, Association of Investment Companies (AIC) said: “It’s highly encouraging that adviser purchases of investment companies in 2015 are at record levels and have nearly tripled since before RDR. It’s also really significant that the number of adviser firms using investment companies hit an all-time high.

“Demand for training remains high and we have now trained over 4,000 advisers. This year the AIC is running more adviser events than ever with fourteen workshops starting in May and five fund manager seminars starting in September. We are also supporting the Personal Finance Society investment roadshows in May and numerous other national and regional events.”

Q4

Adviser purchases of investment companies in Q4 2015 totalled £135.1m, 8% lower than in Q3 2015. This mirrored a more general trend, with overall adviser platform purchases across the board down 9% in Q4 compared to the previous quarter. Encouragingly, unlike overall platform purchases (which fell by 5%), purchases of investment companies were higher in Q4 2015 than in Q4 of 2014, by 11%.

Popular sectors reflect demand for income

The most popular sectors in 2015 mainly reflected the continued strong demand for income. The most popular sectors were: Global (16%), UK Equity Income (12%), UK All Companies (10%), Property Direct – UK (9%) and Infrastructure (6%).

Platforms

During the whole of 2015, Transact remained the most popular adviser platform for purchases of investment companies, with a market share of 48%, much the same as in 2014 (49%). Alliance Trust Savings has taken second place with 18% of the market, and Ascentric is now in third place with 16% of the market.