Ah, Edinburgh in August. A heady mix of rain, street theatre artists, rain, a million tourists wandering aimlessly ON THE ROAD WHERE I AM GOING, rain, fifty thousand Tristrams and Jacintas proving how alternative they are by dying their hair blue and getting mandala tattoos, and rain. It’s no wonder this is the biggest arts festival in the world.

In the face of such a barrage of artisiness, the only rational response is to take refuge in good old statistics and numbers, and happily we have some new ones to play with. We don’t quite have all the results in from Q2 in the platform market yet, but we have enough to make our predictions in the style of American news anchors calling elections.

I’ll just do some of the high level figures here – the detailed bits and bats are proceeding through the lang cat’s patented Advanced Recursive Statistical Engine with optional Deterministic Turing Guessing Module. We’ll release those to subscribers once we’ve got absolutely all the numbers in through the door. Meanwhile we’re pretty confident in the numbers below, but they might change a wee bit.

Q2 looks like a bit of a curate’s egg – good in parts. The overall numbers aren’t bad. We think we’ll see the advised platform market report something in the order of a 4.6% increase in AUA – that’s up to just under £419bn from just over £400bn at the end of Q1.

During that period the MSCI® World Index grew about 2.8% and the FTSE® 100 grew about 1.7%, so that’s not bad at all.

Some of the participants in the advised market also have other channels to market, and bringing those in bumps the numbers up to about £530bn from just under £510bn. It’s worth saying here that everyone who profiles this market has a slightly different definition of what goes into what market ‘bucket’, so you’ll see slightly different results depending on who you read. We all think we’ve got the best method; all have their merits (ours is totally the best).

In terms of gross flows, the advised market will report flows of around £14bn, with net flows of somewhere between £5bn and £5.5bn. Those are up from £13.81bn and £5.32bn respectively in Q1.

The wider market saw a much bigger spike in gross flow – just over £24bn up from £21.18bn in Q1. But net flows were less yeasty – somewhere just shy of £5bn as opposed to £5.75bn in Q1. Make of that what you will.

Inside those numbers is a fair bit of variability. Looking at providers who’ve announced publicly, we can see a range from someone like AJ Bell, who took net inflows in its advised channel of £700m on an opening AUA position of £30.9bn – a 2.26% increase (which goes up to just over 6% when you include market and other movements) – through to Nucleus, who took net flows of £111m on an opening position of £14.75bn – a 0.75% bump that rises to 3.9% when you include market movements.

So there you have it – a quick stats shot, with more to come as we get it. Nothing to frighten the horses, but some platforms out there are suffering greater than expected outflows, and that’s dispiriting. As firms start to think more about PROD segmentation and the use of multiple platforms again (yes, that old chestnut), there may be more to scrap for – and the potential for further disturbance through corporate activity in the platform sector is always there too.


  • Replatforming update – the inimitable Justin Cash writes that Quilter has announced a wee delay and a bump in the cost of its project, which now tickles over a sprightly £500m. Colour us amazed.
  • Standard Life Aberdeen announced a set of slightly less than zesty results this morning despite some positive developments – here’s a roundup from the FT.
  • We want your money – so that we can give it to the Samaritans. Please support the lang cat’s 20 Mile CatWalk here.
  • And your music choice this week is in honour of one correspondent from last week who bemoaned the lack of trve kvlt black metal in the Update. Happy to help – here’s Myrkur with Ulvinde to sort you right out. Spoooky!