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Soaring client numbers help Hargreaves Lansdown achieve record quarter

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Growing customer numbers have helped Britain's biggest fund supermarket - Hargreaves Lansdown - achieve a record first quarter.

Reporting results for the first three months of 2014, the FTSE-100 listed broker said it took in £1.83bn between January and March, up from £1.8bn in the comparable period in 2013 and a record for any quarter in Hargreaves’ history.

The number of active clients reached 609,000, up from 476,000 last year.

The value of assets under administration also rose £2.3bn to £45.7bn over the period.

Hargreaves’ total net revenue year-to-date was up by 8 per cent to £216m.

Chief executive Ian Gorham said clients were “clearly attracted to the discounts” the group had negotiated on its “Wealth 150+”, its list of 27 favourite funds.

Hargreaves said over 30 per cent of all new fund investments in March and over 40 per cent in early April were into Wealth 150+ funds.

Gorham also said the group’s revamped pricing structure, introduced before new rules banning commission from fund groups came into force on 6 April 2014, had lowered the cost of investing for the “majority of our clients”.

Looking ahead, the chief executive said the Budget pensions and ISA reforms may prompt “more enthusiasm” for retail investing.

“The changes announced represent a sea change in opportunity, with exceptional reform of pensions, a higher ISA limit and more simplicity. More importantly, positive voter and press reaction have signalled to politicians that pensions and investments are an important potential vote-winning subject,” Gorham said.

He added that star fund manager Neil Woodford’s new business, due to launch next month, may boost interest further.


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