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Platform costs take further toll on Elevate operator

Axa Portfolio Services, the firm responsible for the Axa Elevate platform, made a loss of £33.5m last year compared with a £26m loss in 2010.

It spent £3.2m on the Elevate platform in 2011, down from £10.8m in 2010.

The number of IFA firms signed up to Elevate increased by 72 per cent from 819 in 2010 to 1,409 in 2011.

Axa added £1.3bn in assets to its Elevate platform last year, taking total platform assets under administration to £3.5bn. This is down by 13 per cent from the £1.5bn added to the platform in 2010. The figures include self-invested assets through the retirement wealth account.

A statement in the accounts says: “The losses in 2010 and 2011 were expected and arose due to the recharge of the development and operating costs in relation to Elevate and reflect the fact that the business is in a rapid growth phase.”

APS adds that the losses were also down to the development of its direct investor business, Axa Self Investor, which is due to launch through IFAs during the first half of this year.

Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “I think this shows how expensive it is to run a platform business and how much you need to spend to make sure it remains competitive and up to date.”

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