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AJ Bell eyes float plans

AJ Bell eyes float plans

AJ Bell has set wheels in motion to float on the London stock exchange, according to a Sky News report.

The platform and Sipp provider has met with investment banks in recent weeks to discuss the possibility of a float, according to the report.

A spokesman for AJ Bell told New Model Adviser® it does not comment on market speculation. 

AJ Bell's latest financial results covering the year ending 30 September 2017 showed the company made a pre-tax profit of £21.7 million, with assets under management of £40 billion. It has made efforts in recent years to diversify its business with a push into asset management.  

If a float does go ahead, AJ Bell would follow in the footsteps of Transact, which will float on the stock exchange in March. Last month New Model Adviser® asked AJ Bell if Transact's move has placed pressure on it to float in order to realise value for its shareholders. 

‘Our focus is on continuing our strong organic growth by providing high quality service to advisers and customers,’ a spokesman for AJ Bell said.

‘Our senior team remains fully committed to the business and is under no pressure to consider exit strategies. But, naturally, it will always look at ways to develop and grow the business.'

AJ Bell already has some large insitutional stakeholders. The biggest stake is held by Invesco Perpetual though, which has 37%. Neil Woodford’s Woodford Investment Management holds 8% and Seneca Investment Management holds 3% with the names of other shareholders not disclosed.  Chief executive Andy Bell (pictured) remains the second largest shareholder in the company with 28% of the shares.

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