On 1st June 2017 the two leading UK trade associations in the investment management and financial advice sector – the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA) – merged to create the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA). Due to the recent merger statistics in this area currently show information for the Financial Advice and Wealth Management separately. Future reports will show information and statistics for the combined community.
The Financial Adviser Market:
The Financial Adviser Market: In Numbers Report shows the size and nature of the advice sector. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the financial adviser market and the trends within it.
What happened in 2016?
We saw the number of advisers more or less the same (down a fraction). We also saw stability in the number of advice firms, despite the reported volume of merger and acquisition activity – indeed, the number of firms has remained more or less constant for the 8 years we have reported data. The steady increase in turnover has continued in 2016 (up by 6.5%). However, pre-tax profits have continued to fall in 2016, at £779m (down by 6.7%) while retained profits have partly recovered since last year. The margins in the sector remain thin.
What’s happening in 2018?
The new numbers will be ready for publication in September 2018, as the date for collation of the data, in hand with the FCA, changes this year.
The following excerpt is taken from ComPeer’s Q4 2017 update of the UK Wealth Management Industry report
As 2017 drew to a close, many wealth management firms were placing much of their focus on upcoming regulatory initiatives such as MIFID II and GDPR, both with implementation dates in the first half of 2018. As such it will be encouraging news for them, that it is not all doom and gloom for the sector. Asset levels continue to rise, once again re-writing the record books as total assets under management and administration reached £927bn, up some 12.2% year on year and 2.8% compared to the previous quarter.
This, combined with a small increase in trade volumes, meant that revenues (largely fee-based) picked up in the final quarter, rising by 2.9% for the industry as a whole.
For the Execution Only Stockbrokers, the good news continued to come as the firms performed exceptionally well in terms of keeping costs under control. In fact, a small quarter on quarter reduction meant that this group of firms stopped a run of four consecutive quarters of squeezed margins, reporting an increase in average margin to a commendable 45.6%.
For Wealth Managers there was a contrasting result as record quarterly cost levels outweighed the rise in revenues. As a result, profitability reduced in the final quarter for this group of firms.
On the whole though there are many positive results to take for the industry as 2017 drew to a close. With everything the industry has had to deal with, few would have predicted record achievements and yet that is what it has been delivered, especially in asset values, and soon the industry will breach the £1 trillion pound landmark, which is cause for celebration.
Key Statistics on the UK Wealth Management and Financial Adviser Market
Same Quarter in Previous Years
Investment Assets (£billion)
Client Trades* (000s)
Retail Market Bargains (000s)
Total Revenues (£million)
FTSE UK Private Investor Balanced
Latest No of Financial Adviser Firms
This can be down to consolidation, M&A activity, as well as some firms hanging up their boots
Consolidated Revenue (for all Regulated business)
A strong revenue increase for firms
The prior year was the lowest value in 7yrs and so this involves some tracking back to prior higher levels of Retained Earnings
Fairly large margin reduction
* participating firms only
 Investment Assets and Revenue are for the total market, based on extrapolated quarterly survey participant data. Participants account for over 60% of total market assets and 65% of total market revenue. Client trades represent participating firms only. Retail market bargains are for UK Retail Stockbrokers.
With thanks to ComPeer limited: www.compeer.co.uk