‘Cofunds should brace for more outflows’ as deal looms


Advisers are likely continue to pull assets away from Cofunds regardless of the continued uncertainties around the sale of the business, experts are predicting.

Cofunds has lost £500m of its retail assets as advisers switch away from the platform, research consultancy Platforum estimates. Canvassing opinion of advisers moving away from platforms, Platforum found uncertainty over parent company was a factor for 40 per cent of those transferring away.

Platforum’s figures shows a drop in assets from £37.5bn to £37bn over the first quarter of this year.

The figures are estimates because L&G no longer publishes quarterly data across any of its businesses.

A fall is “not totally unexpected”, says Finalytiq founder Abraham Okusanya especially because of concerns around the sale but also worries about the platform’s ageing technology.

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says: “The uncertainty going on with the Aegon deal doesn’t help new inflows coming in but also the outflows are a result of the platform still being on an old legacy system and not really being at the forefront with technology so clients and advisers would probably move out anyway.”

Cofunds parent company Legal & General put the platform up for sale last year. Plans for AJ Bell to purchase the business fell through last year after it failed to agree a deal with L&G. It is also understood Fidelity was approached by L&G in the early stages.

Money Marketing understands Aegon is on the verge of reaching a deal.

Of the advisers surveyed by Platforum that were transferring assets away from a platform, one quarter were transferring assets away from Cofunds.

Platforum senior researcher Miranda Seath says: “Poor performance in the markets could be a factor but there are indications that advisers that use the platform as a secondary or tertiary platform are transferring assets away.”

A spokesman for Cofunds says: “Our Q1 figures won’t be released until August in line with our parent Legal & General’s reporting timetable and we cannot comment on them due to city rules. Any ‘guesstimations’ therefore need to be taken with a pinch of salt and no one should draw any conclusions from them. We can say that we wrote over £4bn in retail new business during 2015.”