Cofunds loses £500m in assets amid sale uncertainty

Online-Shopping-Supermarket-Platform-Technology-700.jpgCofunds has lost £500m of its retail assets as advisers switch away from the platform amid uncertainty over its sale, data from Platforum shows.

Estimated assets under administration data from Platforum shows a drop in assets from £37.5bn to £37bn over the first quarter of this year for Cofunds.

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.

Miranda Seath, senior researcher at Platforum, says: “The continued uncertainty over the platform’s ownership is having a negative impact and we hope that a deal can be done soon.”

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.

Aegon has reached a verbal agreement on a deal to purchase Cofunds, Fund Strategy understands.

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

Seath adds: “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.

“We asked advisers transferring assets away from a platform to tell us the drivers for doing so and service was the top reason, while just over 40 per cent said that commitment of the parent company was a factor.”

A spokesman for Cofunds says: “Our Q1 figures won’t be released until August in line with our parent Legal and 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.”