AJ Bell to float

Written by Adam Cadle

AJ Bell has held a beauty parade of investment bankers in the last few weeks to prepare for an initial public offering (IPO), Sky News has reported.

AJ Bell is unlikely to go public until the final quarter of this year at the earliest, according to insiders.

Woodford Investment Management, the firm headed by prominent fund manager Neil Woodford, ‎holds an 8% stake, while Invesco Perpetual is the biggest shareholder with 37%.

AJ Bell's senior management team own most of the remaining shares.

Despite being privately owned, AJ Bell reports on its financial performance in similar detail to that which it will be obliged to provide when it floats.

According to results for the year to September, it now has almost 165,000 retail customers, and made pre-tax profit of £21.7m on revenues of £75.6m.

The company has launched a broader range of services, including an investment management offering and a portfolio of passive funds, in a bid to exploit growing demand from retail investors.

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