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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a746525

Hargreaves welcomes Woodford launch as assets breach £45bn

by Danielle Levy on Apr 16, 2014 at 08:03

Hargreaves welcomes Woodford launch as assets breach £45bn

Hargreaves Lansdown is gearing up for demand for star manager Neil Woodford's oncoming launch, as the group saw assets pass the £45 billion mark.

The UK's largest direct-to-consumer platform saw operating revenue rise 8% over the nine months to the end of March, driven by an impressive 37% increase in income from its discretionary business. The news comes as the business transitions to a new unbundled RDR pricing structure.

Assets under administration hit new highs of £45.7 billion over the three months to the end of March, up £2.3 billion over the quarter. The group noted record cumulative total net inflows of £4.63 billion over the nine months to the end of March. This represents a 35% increase on the comparative nine month period the previous year.

Over the three months to the end of June, Hargreaves anticipated that operating revenue would be 6% higher than the corresponding quarter last year, which it attributed to higher asset values and new business inflows, along with strong share dealing volumes, which at 855,000 deals for the quarter were up 44% on the year.

Active Vantage clients rose to 609,000, up from 476,000 on the previous year. There was a rise of 33,000 in the quarter, a 10% improvement on last year.

Commenting on the implementation of the RDR rules for platforms, chief exective Ian Gorham (pictured) said over 30%, or £250 million, of all new fund investments in March were into Wealth 150+ funds, and over 40% in early April. 

'The extensive operational and technology changes required for the new rules have also been integrated into the service without major issue,' he commented.

'Hargreaves Lansdown has always aimed to be the best for overall value. We are happy with our current strong position, but not complacent. As the recent price changes continue to be absorbed we will keep the marketplace under review and listen to the feedback from our clients to ensure we remain the best value place for the UK public to buy investments'.

He also noted the group is looking forward to the oncoming launch of the fund manager Neil Woodford's new fund in May.

'Looking forward, the launch of the fund manager Neil Woodford's new venture will clearly create interest. Having delivered the regulatory change our development capacity can now return to assisting in augmenting the momentum we have built up. We look forward with optimism to a successful full year and new and exciting opportunities.'

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