Aviva acquires majority stake in UK robo-advisor

UK financial group Aviva has reached an agreement to acquire a majority shareholding in Wealthify Group Limited, the holding company of low-cost robo-advisor Wealthify.

Wealthify targets the UK mass market, especially millennials. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, will enable Aviva’s clients to access the robo-advisor services through its digital hub MyAviva alongside other Aviva products and services.

The deal will also back Wealthify’s business development, aiming at speeding up Wealthify’s future growth plans.

Welathify was launched in April 2016 and is based in Cardiff. For a minimum investment of £1, customers can invest in one of five diversified investment plans through ISAs and general investment accounts.

Blair Turnbull, managing director, Aviva UK Digital, said: “Wealthify aims to take the complexity out of investing. It is remarkably easy to use, with no complicated jargon, no expensive fees, and you can start investing with as little as £1. It is particularly aimed at traditional cash savers, who are seeking to diversify their investments, and also at millennials who appreciate an effortless and straightforward digital experience.

“This is another important step in Aviva’s digital strategy. It underlines our commitment to invest in and partner with leading digital businesses, allowing our customers to benefit from new technology and making insurance and investments simpler, easier and more convenient.”

Richard Theo, co-founder and CEO of Wealthify, added: “It’s with great excitement that we’re announcing the partnership with Aviva today. This significant investment in the emerging ‘robo’ market, by one of the world’s largest and most recognised financial services brands, is validation of the vision we set out to achieve three years ago to change investing for the better.

“Aviva’s investment and access to their millions of UK customers gives us confidence that we can become the leader in this market in the UK and beyond.

“Aviva’s investment in our business reflects a clear shift in market demand for high-quality, technology-enabled financial services solutions like Wealthify. With the backing of such an established and trusted consumer finance brand, we feel ever more confident in our mission to bring the benefits of investing to mass-market savers and encourage them to embrace our service as a hassle free way to invest.

“The capital investment from Aviva will be used primarily to accelerate our ambitious growth plans as well as develop our technology to enhance the proposition. We will remain focused on simplicity, affordability and transparency, and strive to make investing accessible to everyone.”

Aviva serves 33 million customers across the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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