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Aberdeen loses to ‘smart’ Schroders in Nutmeg deal

Aberdeen loses to ‘smart’ Schroders in Nutmeg deal

It has emerged Aberdeen Asset Management lost out to Schroders in the race to buy a stake in Nutmeg.

Last week the online wealth manager revealed Schroders was among a raft of new investors following $32 million (£19 million) fund raising.

Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert (pictured) described the deal as ‘smart’ in an interview with the Financial Times:  ‘It’s a really smart deal for Schroders – so smart that we were thinking of doing the deal ourselves...but Schroders beat us to it,’ he said.

In a statement following the deal, Schroders executive vice chairman Massimo Tosato, who will take a seat on the Nutmeg board, said: ‘We are delighted to participate in funding Nutmeg’s next stage of growth.'

He added: 'For over 200 years, Schroders has been at the forefront of innovation and this financial investment in an innovative and rapidly growing on-line wealth management business will allow us to engage in the digital changes that are influencing the asset management industry for years to come.’

Gilbert believes the deal gives Schroders a cheap way to learn about the online wealth market and at the same time opens up a potential opportunity to acquire the business in the future.

‘It [also] gives Schroders a strategic position if they ever want to buy Nutmeg,’ he said.

‘The new generation of investors are not going to deal with stockbrokers – they will use the likes of Nutmeg, and so the deal makes real sense.'

Other new investors in Nutmeg, which was founded by Nick Hungerford in 2010, include Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone and venture capitalist firm Balderton.

Nutmeg has over 35,000 registered users and its customer acquisition in the first quarter was up 350% on the same time last year.

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