A mixture of pent-up cash and digital wealth demand saw platform assets explode in Q2, following an already successful first quarter that saw platform assets swell £32.8bn, Fundscape said.
Of the total new assets found on platforms in Q2, adviser platforms were responsible for a "chunky" 63%, the firm added. Adviser platform assets rose to £545.8bn while gross and net sales totalled £20.9bn and £10.1bn respectively.
True Potential rose to the top of the net sales table with £1.4bn for the quarter, with Transact close behind with £1.3bn. Following on from that was Aviva with £1.2bn net sales for the quarter, followed by AJ Bell and Abrdn, with net sales of £1.1bn and £975m respectively.
For year-to-date net sales, Transact took the crown as the most popular adviser platform, with net sales of £2.8bn, followed by Aviva with £2.7bn.
In the D2C world, gross flows jumped to £41bn, while net sales broke through £17bn for the first time on record. In addition, a surge in younger investors and demand for digital wealth services benefited platforms with a strong D2C offering, with Hargreaves Lansdown's net sales skyrocketed to £3.7bn for the quarter - a 22% rise on the previous quarter.
Fundscape CEO Bella Caridade-Ferreira said: "It's been gratifying to see younger investors take an interest in their finances and invest this past year. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased and normal life is on the horizon, the D2C spike is likely to drop to more normal levels. But some things won't go away — demand for ESG, digital wealth management, and low‐cost investment are trends that are here to stay. Demand for advice and investment is strong, but investors want it in a different format.
"The first half of the year was boosted by the ISA season and pent‐up demand from 2020. Sales in the second half are likely to be robust but not as strong. There is still a lot of cash on the sidelines — UK households have accumulated some £168bn in excess savings that will be gradually spent or (hopefully) invested."