Update: Shares in AJ Bell have surged on the opening day of its stockmarket debut.
At the market close, AJ Bell stood 37% up on where it entered trading at 219p, just off a day high of 223p.
The wrap platform had been valued at £651 million after pricing shares at 160p for its initial public offering (IPO). The price came in at the middle of the £1.54/£1.66 range it had set in its listing prospectus.
This valuation was slightly above fellow platform Transact, which listed in March on a valuation of £650 million – a figure that has since risen to around £1 billion.
'The IPO is a significant milestone for the business and I see it as firing the starting gun on our next phase of growth, which I'm massively excited about leading the business through,' chief executive Andy Bell (pictured left with AJ Bell CFO Michael Summersgill at the opening ceremony this morning) told the market.
He added: 'The demand for our IPO from both blue chip institutions and our own customers was a real endorsement of our business and the market opportunities that lie ahead of us and I'm pleased to welcome our new shareholders on board.
'I'd also like to thank our employees who do so much day in, day out to ensure we deliver great service to our customers and help them to invest.'
AJ Bell said its directors and selling shareholders will be subject to a ‘customary lock-in’ period, meaning they will not be able to sell their shares for one year after the IPO. For the following year, there will be lock-in on half of their shares.
Fund houses Invesco Perpetual and Seneca Investment Managers, which are shareholders in AJ Bell, will be subject to a 180-day lock-in period.
Seneca fund manager Richard Parfect said: 'We’re pleased that AJ Bell has reached this stage in its evolution. We look forward to continuing to play a part in the growth of AJ Bell and are delighted that one of our funds’ earliest investments has been such a material benefit to our investors.
'Well structured, easy to use, and fairly priced platforms have a compelling place to enable customers to manage their savings portfolios. A market listing should help raise the profile of the platform and it’s feasible that others will follow.'