Private capital forms much more of the UK economy than it used to, and there is a sense that private equity investors can target companies in their highest growth phase. How can self-directed investors get in on the act and is this an opportunity for D2C providers?

We picked this as a specialist topic to cover in the new UK D2C: Market Update which we published this week. Direct platform AUA is flat in the latest six-month period, so opportunities for new flows are appealing. Private capital may be a niche area, but some providers are making good progress.

  • Moonfare, which provides digital access to private equity funds at lower minimum investment levels than previously available, has just hit €2bn AUM and is growing fast.
  • PrimaryBid offers retail access to IPOs (therefore private companies at the point that they become publicly listed) with links to their clients’ direct platform accounts and other online brokers. It successfully closed a Series C funding round earlier this year.

Of course, D2C services already provide access to private capital through funds, investment trusts and VCTs. There are also several specialist providers and equity crowdfunding platforms like Crowdcube and Seedrs offering EIS, SEIS and other tax-advantaged investments.

The D2C opportunity is unlikely to be significant immediately, but consumer demand is positive, new technology is helping to provide access that was previously restricted to institutions, and there appear to be some regulatory tailwinds.

UK D2C: Market Update is available for clients to download on the Platforum Research Portal. It provides the latest direct platform data on AUA, flows and customer numbers as well as an overview of recent development and current trends. We look at two specialist topics: the evolution of hybrid advice and the opportunity for private capital. Please get in touch for more information.