Aviva has become the latest blue chip financial services firm to back a robo-adviser, announcing it is to make a strategic investment in Wealthify, taking a majority shareholding.
In a stock market announcement, Aviva said the investment is part of its strategy to ‘build customer loyalty’ by providing a ‘wide range of insurance and investment services all managed through the convenience and simplicity of Aviva’s digital hub, MyAviva’.
Wealthify will become accessible through Aviva’s online portal and will be available alongside the insurer’s other products and services.
The size of the stake Aviva is taking in the robo firm, which remains subject to regulatory approval, and the amount paid have not been disclosed.
Launched in April 2016, Cardiff-based Wealthify is designed as a low cost investment service targeted at millennials, which enables them to invest from as little as a pound.
Aviva UK digital managing director Blair Turnbull said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Wealthify co-founder and CEO Richard Theo, a former Wealth Manager cover star (pictured), said: ‘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.’
Theo added: ‘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.’