Nucleus Financial assets recover to top £16bn

David Ferguson

Edinburgh funds platform Nucleus Financial Group said on Friday its assets under administration (AUA) have recovered to £16.1 billion, the level at which they started the year.

In a stock exchange statement, Nucleus said: “Despite the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on investor sentiment and market growth, the company has continued to increase AUA, which stood at £16.1bn at 30 September 2020, up 1.8% on the previous quarter and 2.6% year-on-year.

“By comparison, the FTSE All-Share Index decreased 3.8% on the last quarter and fell by 19.2% year-on-year.”

Nucleus Financial’s major shareholder is Sanlam Investments of South Africa.

Nucleus said gross inflows of £373 million were achieved in Q3, a slight reduction on the previous quarter’s £384 million “as a consequence of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”

Outflows from the platform reduced by 23.2% in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019 and reduced by 24.4% year-to-date 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. 

Net inflows for Q3 2020 decreased by 26.1% year-on-year to £82 million, but are up by 44.7% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2019.

Customer numbers increased by 4.1% year-on-year.

Nucleus CEO David Ferguson said: “Covid-19 looks set to dominate our lives for at least the remainder of the year and is likely to have a continued impact for a time to come.

“In these challenging times, the health and well-being of our staff remain our highest priority.

“While we have re-opened a portion of the office, within government guidelines, almost all of our people continue to work from home.

“We have ensured they have the tools they need to deliver the very best possible service, and there has been no disruption to service during the period.

“Continuing to focus on what is under our direct control resulted in us achieving our highest ever net promoter score and being awarded CoreData’s best medium platform for the ninth year in succession.

“These are clear indicators that our users appreciate the achievements of our people through these troubled times.

“Despite a significant reduction in markets this year, with the FTSE All-Share down 21.8% since the start of the year, our AUA at the end of Q3 2020 was back to the level we started the year, at £16.1bn.

“Despite a softer Q3 in terms of net inflows, our year-to-date position remains ahead at £515m compared to £356m in 2019, a 44.7% increase on the same period last year.

“It’s worth noting that in terms of gross inflows, while these dipped in August the figures for September are more positive.

“Our focus throughout the pandemic has been to ensure we are well set for the months and years to come, concentrating on the things that matter to our business that are within our control.

“This has meant a commitment to continuing to invest in the platform.

“Q3 has been no exception, and I’m proud that the team have delivered not only new e-signature capability to flex to a new way of working, but also to have rolled out our new model portfolio service, Nucleus IMX.

“On top of this, we completed our third major software release of the year in the quarter, which added new adviser fee options, automated phased investment, improved phased drawdown and enhancements to bulk model portfolios. 

“While the future impact of the Covid-19 crisis remains unknown, there has perhaps never been more of a pressing need for high-quality financial planning, and as such, we remain positive about the long-term future of the sector.”