AJ Bell attracts £21 million Woodford investment

26 May 2015

AJ Bell attracts £21 million Woodford investment

Woodford Equity Income Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust become shareholders

AJ Bell, the provider of online investment platforms and stockbroker services, is pleased to announce a £21 million investment from funds managed by Woodford Investment Management (together the “Woodford funds”).

£13 million is being invested by CF Woodford Equity Income Fund, which seeks attractive long-term returns through investment in quality companies that can deliver sustainable dividend growth. A further £8 million is being invested by Woodford Patient Capital Trust Plc (LSE: WPCT), the investment trust that offers investors Woodford’s high conviction blue-chip ideas and aims to identify the best, untapped growth opportunities to deliver exceptional long-term returns.

Shares were made available by management and existing shareholders. Funds managed by Invesco Asset Management Limited, the largest institutional shareholder, did not sell any shares and took the opportunity to top up their holding by a modest amount. No new shares were issued in the transaction and employees, led by Andy Bell, Chief Executive, remain the single largest shareholder group.

In the six months to 31 March 2015, AJ Bell increased retail customers by 7% to 111,503, contributing to assets under administration (“AUA”) rising 10% to £26.1bn and representing record first-half AUA growth of £2.4 billion. AJ Bell is experiencing further growth as a result of the recent rule changes granting greater pensions’ freedoms, which have driven inflows from private investors and their advisers seeking low-cost, easy-to-use investment platforms.

Shore Capital Stockbrokers acted as broker in this share transaction.         

Andy Bell, Chief Executive of AJ Bell, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome the Woodford funds as AJ Bell shareholders and thrilled that Invesco is maintaining its significant holding. The investment from these blue-chip institutions signals the exciting opportunities that are emerging as savers and investors embrace pensions’ freedoms.

“In addition, 2015 will see us launch a free guided investment client service under AJ Bell Youinvest that will target the needs of retail investors caught in limbo because they can’t afford the cost of advice but don’t feel fully able to self-manage their investments.”

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