Smart Pension raises £3.3m, appoints director from JLT

Smart Pension raises £3.3m, appoints director from JLT

Auto-enrolment newcomer Smart Pension has raised £3.3m in capital from private investors, bringing its total capital investment since launch last year to £5m.

It has also appointed Duncan Howorth, former chief executive of the employee benefits arm of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, to its board of directors.

The master trust, which specialises in providing workplace pensions to small businesses, announced two other new board appointments: former lord mayor of London Sir Anthony Joliffe, who will be chair, and the scheme’s chief operating officer and former Pension Protection Fund member Peter Walker.

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Mr Howorth said: “The success of auto enrolment has always been a passion of mine – and key to its success is supporting the millions of businesses and their employees entering the workplace pensions market for the first time.”

In May, Smart Pension bought a “six figure” stake in pension data transfer company Pensionsync. In the same month it joined a group of 14 auto-enrolment providers with Master Trust Assurance Framework accreditation.

The firm’s owners now include fintech specialist Ed Asseily, Tom Valentine, co-founder of luxury holiday firm Secret Escapes, and William Reeve, an entrepreneur and investor who has backed successful startups such as, Zoopla and Hubbub.

Smart Pension has so far signed up 8,500 employers, and has 60,000 members. In an interview with Financial Adviser in May, chief operating officer Peter Walker said the scheme was targeting half a million members. He declined to disclose the scheme’s assets under management.

Industry view

Allan Maxwell, a business adviser and director of Corporate Benefits Consulting, said: “With the small schemes, if you pick the one that wins, fine, but there’s a risk that you pick the one that doesn’t. And my clients don’t want that hassle. They want to find a reliable scheme, and then get on with what they do for a living,” he said.