Customer Portfolios at Hargreaves Lansdown Top 28 Billion Pounds

LONON -- Hargreaves Lansdown (ISE: HL.L) gained 2 pence to 690 pence during early trade this morning after the investment administration group said the value of its customers' portfolios had topped 28 billion pounds.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) member confirmed its assets under administration had increased by 2.2 billion pounds to 28.5 billion pounds during July, August, and September. Hargreaves said the improvement had been supported by a rising stock market, 600 million pounds of new client money and 7,000 new customers.

In what Hargreaves described as "a pleasing start to the year," revenues for the group's first quarter jumped 20% to a record 69 million pounds. The firm also said its corporate customer base had doubled to 9,400 members during the summer.

Looking ahead, Ian Gorham, Hargreaves Lansdown's chief executive, claimed:

The beginning of the second quarter has seen considerably improved activity in the way of new investment opportunities. We have been encouraged to see potential investors seeking information and increased volumes of them converting into new clients, helped by the announcement of our new SIPP Loyalty bonus incentive and new share and fund launches.

Something customers -- and perhaps shareholders -- of Hargreaves may wish to consider are the upcoming changes to the group's charging structure.

Referring to the Retail Distribution Review, which from next year will change the way investors pay for investment advice, Gorham confirmed: "We expect to communicate the new pricing structure to our clients and other interested parties at a later date, when it is appropriate to do so."

Today's share-price advance adds to the wonderful gains enjoyed by longtime Hargreaves shareholders. The business joined the stock market during 2007 at 160 pence a share and the price hit a 135-pence low a year later in the banking crash.

Since then, however, it has been one-way traffic, with the price rallying five-fold... and delivering very healthy dividends along the way.

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Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Hargreaves Lansdown.

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