Majority Stake In ‘Straightforward’ Robo Investment Start-Up Aimed At Millennials Taken By Aviva

A British start-up that manages diversified investment plans is the latest company for investments by insurance giant Aviva where the company has bought a majority stake.

Via its app MyAviva, the customers of the insurance company would be allowed to access “robo” investment firm Wealthify’s services by this stake acquisition, the insurer said on Thursday.

Through tax-free Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and general investment accounts, Wealthify, based in Cardiff, Wales, is targeted at millennials and offers five different investment plans.

Investments of as little as £1 ($1.32) would be allowed for customers to be made.

“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 ($1.32),” Blair Turnbull, managing director at Aviva U.K. Digital, said in a statement Thursday.

“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.”

It would be looking to build its customer loyalty, said Aviva even though the company did not disclose the value of the majority stake. the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog will however have to approve the transaction for it to be enforceable.

Aviva is now exhibiting the trend of a clear shift among financial services towards fintech.

Headway into the “robo-advice” market has been made by a number of big firms already.

Investments in digital platforms that offer investment advice and management with the help of computer algorithms to automate and simplify asset and wealth management, have already been made by several companies, including U.S. investment management behemoth BlackRock and U.K. insurer LV= (Liverpool Victoria).

“Aviva’s investment in our business reflects a clear shift in market demand for high-quality, technology-enabled financial services solutions like Wealthify,” Richard Theo, co-founder and chief executive of Wealthify, said in the announcement Thursday.

“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.”

Wealthify would be enabled to accelerate its growth and technology by Aviva’s majority shareholding in the firm, Wealthify’s boss added.

He said: “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.”

(Adapted from CNBC)


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