Interactive Investor (II), the UK’s second largest retail-facing investment platform, is on course for either an IPO or sale of the business in 2022 after a “pleasing” first half of the year. Investment and trading platforms have been one of the sectors to benefit from the lockdown restrictions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic and Interactive Investor has taken full advantage to pick up 32,000 new clients and £3.6 billion of new assets under management.
One of the ‘big 3’ UK investment platforms alongside Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell, Manchester-based II saw net revenues up 19% over the first six months of the year to £76.1 million. The company chose not to publish its profit for the period.
Chief executive Richard Wilson expects the pandemic-induced boom in investment to be maintained into the future. People having more time to focus on their personal finances and future-oriented financial planning over lockdown periods is credited with driving the industry’s positive performance over the past year. As well as the fact many have had more disposable income due to savings made on things like commuting for work and meals out.
Mr Wilson commented:
“I am pleased to report another period of strong and consistent growth against a backdrop of uncertainty and a constantly changing environment.”
II has been focused on growth over the past couple of years and has significantly increased in size through the acquisitions of rival platforms Alliance Trust Savings and The Share Centre. The latter was a major consolidation in the industry, with The Share Centre the fourth largest investment platform before II acquired it for £62 million. The deal was partly financed with new equity that valued II at £675 million last year.
II is 50% owned by the private equity group JC Flowers and previously publicly stated that it was working towards the “obvious end state” of either a flotation via an IPO or sale to a larger private equity group. That is expected to be most likely to happen at some point during 2022.
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