Abrdn assets rise to £508bn amid net inflows

Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird

Edinburgh-based investment giant Abrdn said its first-quarter assets under management and administration (AUMA) rose 3.7% to £507.7 billion at March 31, 2024.

Abrdn said its performance benefited “from positive market performance and net inflows of £0.8bn, including £2.6bn of net inflows into liquidity.”

Abrdn reported continued organic growth in its Interactive Investor business, with customer numbers growing to 414,000.

The firm said “actions” are under way to address outflows in its adviser and equities businesses and the implementation of “cost transformation” is on track.

Assets under management at Abrdn’s investments business increased to £374.3 billion “primarily reflecting positive market movements across most asset classes.”

The firm said: “The industry saw continued net outflows in Q1 2024 across global active mutual funds, particularly within equities and multi-asset.

“However, the pace of outflows showed signs of slowing, primarily driven by the growing demand for fixed income.

“Institutional and Retail Wealth net inflows in Q1 2024 were £0.7bn including strong inflows of £2.6bn into liquidity.

“There were also net inflows into quantitatives and fixed income. It was a challenging quarter for equities with continued net outflows primarily reflecting industry asset allocation away from Asia and emerging markets.

“Insurance Partners net outflows in Q1 2024 were £0.5bn reflecting outflows from heritage business in run-off, largely offset by inflows from growing workplace pensions.”

In Abrdn’s adviser business, AUMA increased to £75.2bn as at 31 March 2024, driven by stronger markets. “Q1 2024 net outflows were £0.9bn. Gross inflows were in line with Q1 2023; however as we saw in Q4, redemptions were elevated owing to the continued impact of the higher cost of living and further IFA consolidation.”

On Interactive Investor, Abrdn said: “Total customers were 414k at 31 March 2024, up 3% in the last year (31 March 2023: 401k) and up 2% in the quarter (31 December 2023: 407k). Of this, SIPP customers grew to 68.5k at 31 March 2024, up 25% in the last year (31 March 2023: 54.7k) and up 10% in the quarter (31 December 2023: 62.4k).

“AUA as at 31 March 2024 was £69.6bn benefiting from stronger markets and year on year growth in net inflows.

Q1 2024 net inflows were £1.2bn, up 71% on Q1 2023, which included £0.2bn of outflows from the exited Pension Trading Accounts and £0.1bn of outflows from our financial planning business.”

Abrdn CEO Stephen Bird said: “Our AUMA grew 3% in the period to £507.7bn, supported by a positive contribution from markets across all three businesses.

“We had net inflows at a group level, including strong liquidity flows which contributed to positive overall flows within Investments.

“At interactive investor, we saw continued organic growth in customers and flows. We were particularly pleased with the growth in SIPP customers.

“Yet clearly there is more work to be done in Investments and Adviser, where we have actions underway to improve performance. 

“Our cost transformation programme is on track as we take action to sustainably restore our business to a more acceptable level of profitability.

“Our key focus, and our most important priority, is on delivering investment performance for all of our clients.”