Nucleus reports ‘healthy numbers’ for 2018

Platform sees marginal growth despite a bleak fourth quarter and challenging market conditions

Nucleus

Nucleus reported marginal growth in its assets under administration (AUA) last year as a result of its “steady and sustainable growth strategy”.

The platform provider said AUA grew 2.3% over the year to £13.88bn, from £13.57bn in 2017, despite challenging market conditions which saw the FTSE All Share Index decrease by 13% and the FTSE 100 Index decrease by 12.5% during the same period.

It added that advisers actively using the platform also increased by 6% to 1,396 during 2018, while customer numbers grew by 7% to 93,175.

Miranda Seath, research director at NextWealth, said: “Nucleus has deliberately pursued a strategy of steady and sustainable growth, preferring to work closely with independent mid-sized firms who use it as their primary platform and eschewing deals on fees.

“This shows in the platform’s annual results; steady but not spectacular growth is a good result as equity markets witnessed more volatility in the second half of the year.”

Bleak Q4

Nucleus faced a bleak fourth quarter which saw its AUA fall 5.5%.

Investor caution hit net inflows during the quarter as the firm took on £185m, compared with £392m in Q4 2017.

For the 12 months to December 2018, net flows were £1.19bn, down from £1.7bn in 2017.  Outflows for the year were £1.1bn compared with £940m in 2017. In Q4 alone, outflows were £277m in 2018 compared with £205m in 2017.

Clive Waller, managing director of CWC Research, said: “There will be many financial institutions that wish they could report such healthy numbers for 2018.

“It says much for Nucleus and their advisers that they have continued growth in a year of significant market corrections.”

Nucleus said AUA has since recovered in line with market movements to £14.2bn as at 24 January 2019.

David Ferguson (pictured), Nucleus’ founder and CEO, said: “Nucleus has grown strongly in recent years and, despite the challenging market backdrop, I am pleased to report our 12th successive year of growth in AUA, adviser users and customer numbers.

“Having listed the business in Q3 2018 and reorganised our major outsourcing relationships in Q4 2018, we are now focused on accelerating our growth within the sector.”

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