Global insurer, Aviva (LON:AV) has become the latest financial services group to invest in a robo-advisor, taking a majority shareholding in Wealthify. Aviva’s latest investment will see the integration of Wealthify’s services suite into its digital hub, MyAviva. Terms of the deal were not disclosed at this time.
Launched back in 2016, Cardiff-based Wealthify is a discretionary online investment service, helping sculpt and manage investment plans for its client base. The decision to invest in Wealthify or other robo-advisors has been a recurring theme over the past year – Schroders and Allianz have both made similar inroads with Nutmeg and Moneyfarm respectively.
Eye on growth, millennials
Aviva UK’s Digital Managing Director Blair Turnbull commented: “Wealthify combines a smart management team with great technology and a start-up culture. Together with the brand and financial strength of Aviva, we are very excited about the future opportunity, making Wealthify available to Aviva customers through the convenience of our MyAviva online and App experience.”
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In particular, the deal will provide a central pillar to Aviva’s investment services strategy, with the addition of Wealthify helping bolster its insurance capabilities. Aviva will also look to assimilate Wealthify’s solutions into its digital hub, MyAviva. This will see Wealthify’s services suite made available via Aviva’s online portal in a joint offering.
The move is important for Aviva, which has been steadily expanding its own client base and market scope. Wealthify targets a key demographic, i.e. millennials, which can garner investing in small and more feasible increments. This was seen as central to Aviva’s overall interest in acquiring a majority stake in Wealthify given growth prospects in the UK.
“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,” added Mr. Turnbull.
“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,” explained Wealthify’s co-Founder and CEO Richard Theo.
For its part, Wealthify also stands to gain from the new investment stake. “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,” he reiterated.