The platform market recovered momentum in Q1 with assets under administration (AUM) growing nearly 10% on the back of rising stock markets, research has found.
According to Fundscape's platform report, platform AUM increased 9% to £189bn in the first quarter, marking a turnaround from the fourth quarter of 2011 when growth floundered amid volatile markets.
Several platforms recorded double-digit growth during the quarter as stock markets staged a recovery. Ascentric and Elevate - which saw assets break through £4bn with rises of 13.2% and 15.2% respectively - were the standout performers.
At the other end of the scale, Skandia set a record as assets increased beyond the £40bn mark, albeit at a lower rate of 5.5%.
Meanwhile, gross platform sales were £11.9bn, up 26% compared to the fourth quarter and 8.2% relative to the first quarter of 2011.
Fundscape director Bella Caridade-Ferreira said the strong quarter suggests the market's lacklustre performance at the end of last year was simply a blip.
"Gross flows fell to their lowest level in the last quarter of 2011, but as we predicted, it was no more than a blip and sales have bounced back to their former levels," she said.
It was also a more positive picture for net sales which totalled £5.6bn for the quarter, an increase of 37% compared to Q4.
But despite the uplift, sales are below average levels achieved in 2011. Caridade-Ferreira added it is not surprising net flows are "slightly under par" given the current environment.
Cofunds topped the platform market leader board for gross and net sales, marking a run of 12 consecutive quarters at the top. But second-ranked FundsNetwork saw the biggest surge in sales, with gross sales up 66% and net sales surging 223% on the previous quarter.
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