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AJ Bell reveals float plans, with 'exclusive' shares for 172,000 customers

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AJ Bell reveals float plans, with 'exclusive' shares for 172,000 customers

Platform AJ Bell has is preparing for a float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) that is set to include a retail share offer, available exclusively to AJ Bell customers.

AJ Bell has appointed Numis Securities to explore a float, expected to take place towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.

The Manchester based adviser and D2C platform said the listing will give its investors, including AJ Bell customers, ‘the opportunity to participate in AJ Bell’s future success’.

The group does not intend to raise new capital as part of the IPO. Its two largest shareholders, co-founder and chief executive Andy Bell (pictured) and Invesco Perpetual, will both retain ‘cornerstone’ shareholdings following the float.

Bell said: ‘An IPO is a natural next step in our journey and will provide a further boost to our future growth through the increased profile a stock market listing will give us.

‘We believe the outlook for our business is extremely positive. The need for people to save and invest for their future has never been stronger and we are making it easier for them to do that.’

The platform has £42 billion of total assets under administration.
In 2017 revenues grew 17% to £75.6 million and it made a pre-tax profit of £21.7 million. It increased its dividend by 10%, to 28.25p a share, equating to a 66% pay-out ratio.

Bell said: ‘We now have 172,000 customers and I want them to be able to share in our success by giving them exclusive access to the offer.’

According to  fund manager Neil Woodford’s Woodford Investment management sold it shares last month to AJ Bell’s management team and his old employer Invesco Perpetual.

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