The company confirmed yesterday it was preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange in the next 12 months. The company could be valued at up to £500m when it floats.
The IPO would include a retail share offer, available only to AJ Bell customers, and is expected to take place towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Rival platform Transact recently floated while another rival platform, Nucleus, is also believed to be considering a float. Adviser service provider SimplyBiz is also understood to be mulling an IPO.
AJ Bell said it does not intend to raise new capital as part of the IPO because of its “financial strength, profitable business model and debt-free balance sheet”.
The group’s two largest shareholders, co-founder and chief executive Andy Bell and Invesco Perpetual, will both retain cornerstone shareholdings post-IPO.
Andy Bell, chief executive, said: “An IPO is a natural next step in our journey and will provide a further boost to our future growth through the increased profile a stock market listing will give us.
“We now have 172,000 customers and I want them to be able to share in our success by giving them exclusive access to the offer.”
He said: “We believe the outlook for our business is extremely positive. The need for people to save and invest for their future has never been stronger and we are making it easier for them to do that.”
In 2017 revenues grew 17% to £75.6m and the firm’s profit before tax grew 29% to £21.7m.
Sky News reported last month that AJ Bell, which oversees assets worth nearly £40bn, held a “beauty parade of investment bankers in the last few weeks” to prepare for the IPO.