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Diversification delivers growth in challenging markets for Standard Life


Standard Life has reported an increase in assets under administration of 7 per cent to GBP328.0 billion in the first six months of the year from GBP307.4 billion a year earlier.

This was helped by gross inflows into the company’s growth channels of GBP20.6 billion (H1 2015: GBP20.5 billion) and net inflows of GBP4.1 billion (H1 2015: GBP7.4 billion).
The company says that institutional and wholesale channels have benefitted from diversification, with global institutional business AUM up to GBP78.1 billion helped by net inflows of GBP2.0 billion representing an annualised 6 per cent of opening AUM, and wholesale AUM up to GBP47.3 billion with net outflows of GBP0.4 billion in a challenging environment for mutual funds, representing an annualised outflow of 2 per cent of opening AUM.

Third party investment performance, meanwhile, is ahead of its benchmark over one year (29 per cent), three years (85 per cent), and five years (84 per cent).
In addition, Standard Life’s workplace and retail channels have continued to see steady growth with net inflows of GBP2.8 billion (H1 2015: GBP2.9 billion), representing an annualised 7 per cent of opening AUA.
Assets on the company’s adviser wrap platform are up 20 per cent year-on-year to GBP28.0 billion (FY 2015: GBP25.5 billion; H1 2015: GBP23.3 billion) with net inflows in H1 2016 up 3 per cent to GBP2.1 billion.
Regular contributions into workplace pensions are also up 4 per cent to GBP1.5 billion, while fee based revenue is up 4 per cent to GBP794m representing 93 per cent of total operating income, with revenue across growth channels up 8 per cent to GBP577m.

Keith Skeoch, chief executive, says: “Standard Life continues to make good progress towards building a world-class investment company, against a backdrop of volatile investment markets, by growing assets, profits, cash flows and returns to shareholders.

“Despite elevated uncertainty we are benefiting from our strong long-term relationships with a broad range of clients and customers who reacted in different ways to the changing market environment. The increase in the stake in HDFC Life and the proposed combination with Max Life will increase our exposure to the attractive and fast growing Indian market, while the agreement to acquire Elevate will strengthen our leading position in the advised platform market. 

“Targeted investments to further our diversification agenda, together with our sharpened focus on operational efficiency will increase our pace of strategic delivery. This will ensure we continue to meet changing client and customer needs and generate sustainable returns for our shareholders.” 

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