SEI Wealth Platform flows up 30%


SEI Wealth Platform has seen a 30 per cent year-on-year growth in inflows in the UK compared to the first half of 2015, but is still hunting more growth.

According to the company’s most recent earnings results, published today, UK net flows reached £1.6bn in first half of 2015.

The largest part of the growth came from the “big Isa season” in the first half of the year, says SEI commercial director Martin Steer.

“The clients using our technology, they’ve all seen good growth in the first quarter around the tax season so Isa sales for a number of firms were at very high levels,” he says.

However, the pension freedoms have not boosted assets for the platform – instead pension assets “stagnated” in the first six months of 2015.

He says: “We are potentially going to see a second growth phase in pensions in the second half of the year. The size of the opportunity is immense in one sense, but I think it stagnated in the first half of the year.

“People didn’t know what the rules were going to be, so they delayed their decisions in their investment. Annuity flows fell of the cliff as you expected. Now this is starting to clear up and we will see more flows in this space.”

The SEI Wealth Platform already runs investments for a number of UK wealth management and advisory firms, including Towry, HSBC, Tilney Bestinvest and Brewin Dolphin. But the firm continues eying other clients.

Steer says: “We are targeting anyone from £300m assets under management onwards. It is a slow process to win new clients in this space because there are large banks and wealth managers and it takes time to win them over.”

SEI’s total UK private banking business saw assets under administration increase by 9.2 per cent from £21.7bn to £23.7bn during the first six months of 2015. The growth in assets came from existing clients rather than from new ones.

Steer says the firm has already hired a new head of sales in Andrew Booker to help its next expansion stage: “We will continue to expect new organic growth and hopefully through new clients as well.”