The good times are rolling on for Bell Financial and Australian Ethical
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Both companies are major ASX players as a broker and fund manager respectively but are also publicly listed.
This stock is the parent company behind stockbroker Bell Potter as well as retail brokerage platform Belldirect among other offerings.
Bell Financial was a particularly big beneficiary of the ASX capital raising boom of 2020 which topped $51 billion as well as increased retail investor interest in equities.
Today it gave shareholders unaudited results for the 2020 calendar year. It made $299 million in revenue and a $46.7 million profit after tax – which represent gains of 18 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.
It also saw a rise in its funds under management to $63.9 billion and earnings per share to 14.6 cents.
The company’s reporting was reduced to a single page update which also mentioned audited results would be released in February.
In the past couple of years Australian Ethical has reported significant growth.
Its share price has more than tripled and funds under management has grown from under $3 billion two years ago to over $5 billion today.
The company has consistently credited its growth to solid investment performance and net inflows and did again today.
CEO John McMurdo also credited the rise of ethical investing generally.
He cited RIAA research showing at least two thirds of Australians would consider an investment solution – again a big spike.
“That broader cross broader section of Australia is more aware now than they were say 2 years ago,” McMurdo told Stockhead.
“They’re seeing the rolling out of bushfires, global pandemics and then ethical corporate governance issues – AMPs and RIOs.
“You get investors going,’ Look, my money can do well and do good at the same time and so why wouldn’t I?’ This is what we’ve been observing,” McMurdo told Stockhead.
Of the $5 billion, approximately two-thirds was superannuation and the remainder was managed funds.
It also reported that there was only a modest impact to superannuation funds. The government’s scheme allowing people to access super resulted in many funds being drained but Australian Ethical only reported a very modest outflow.
Both Bell Financial and Australian Ethical notched up modest gains at market open this morning.