U.K.-based insurer Aviva is the latest financial services company to turn to fintech in general and online investment services in specific in order to provide greater value for its customers. The firm announced today that it had acquired a majority stake in robo advisor, Wealthify. And while terms were not disclosed, the company was valued at £9.7 million in the wake of recent £1 million crowdfunding campaign.
Writing at the Wealthify blog, company CEO and founder Richard Theo called the acquisition “a huge vote of confidence” in both Wealthify’s vision to make investing more democratic, as well as, “the way we have delivered that vision.” Theo said the move affirmed the company’s place as a significant disruptor in the wealth management space, and takes Aviva closer to being a “one-stop-shop for all their customers’ insurance, pension, and investment needs.”
Left to right: Wealthify founder and CEO Richard Theo and Chief Investment Officer Michelle Pearce demonstrating the company’s online investing service.
Theo added that the investment will enable the company to pursue its “ambitious customer acquisition targets” as well as support new products, particularly JISA and SIPPs. Wealthify also plans to add talent to its team, and will take on a trio of non-executive directors from Aviva. The company will remain headquartered in Cardiff, Theo noted with pride, referencing both Wealthify’s Welsh roots and the promise of the growing financial services community in and around Cardiff.
Managing director of Aviva U.K. Digital Blair Turnbull praised Wealthify’s platform, which will be integrated into Aviva’s digital hub, MyAviva. Turnbull called the technology “remarkably easy to use” and underscored its appeal to both traditional cash savers and millennial investors. Aviva is the biggest general insurance provider in the U.K., and a leading life and pensions provider. The firm serves 33 million customers in 16 markets around the world.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cardiff, U.K., Wealthify demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2017. With as little as £ 1, users can use the platform to save for specific financial goals, create a monthly investment installment plan, set an investment time horizon, and articulate a personalize risk profile – all of which guide the way the platform chooses potential investments. The platform gives users a “predicted value” of their portfolio and the ability to see the actual plan summary of asset class allocations, fees, and more. Wealthify has more than 1,800 registered users.