Abrdn  

Abrdn to launch wealth management app after AI platform purchase

Abrdn to launch wealth management app after AI platform purchase

Abrdn, previously Standard Life Aberdeen, has bought AI-driven business Exo Investing to launch a 24/7 digital wealth management solution. 

The deal, which is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021, was announced today (August 10) and will see Abrdn buy Exo Investing from Nucoro for an undisclosed sum.

Abrdn said it would use the firm's AI digital investing technology to offer 24/7 digital wealth management to investors via an app.  

Exo Investing's technology allows customers to create a unique portfolio built around their individual goals, risk profile and preferences.

Investors can also choose between a customised, themed or fully automated approach.

Customised investors can select their preferences in areas such as sector, geography and investment style, while themed investors can choose pre-defined strategies such as environmental, social and governance or emerging markets.

Automated investors can decide to let Exo Investing create a tailored portfolio designed around their goals and risk appetite.

Abrdn said the deal will “complement our existing personal vector capabilities”, such as open banking insights, simple risk-rated savings, financial advice and now digitally-driven wealth management. 

“Our ambition is to be the company individuals turn to when developing their savings and investment goals,” it said. 

Stephen Bird, chief executive officer at Abrdn said: “This is an exciting and significant step forward in building out our personal vector capabilities. 

“Exo was the first of its kind to offer a fully automated wealth management platform, leveraging machine learning to feed into portfolio decision-making. 

“There is a downward pressure on fees, changing customer expectations and increasing regulatory requirements. It’s important to address these issues by providing a highly-scalable, next-generation service to investors.”

The deal with Exo Investing remains subject to regulatory approval. 

Lennart Asshoff, CEO at Nucoro, added: “We are delighted to help enable Abrdn’s ambition to make investing easier and better for clients. 

“We built Exo Investing on the Nucoro Platform to fulfil the vision of democratising wealth management by harnessing the power of cutting-edge investment technologies.

"Abrdn’s forward-looking digital strategy makes the company both an ideal partner for Nucoro and the ideal home for Exo to drive that vision and use its reach to deliver the proposition to customers.”

The deal announcement came alongside Abrdn’s financial results for the first half of 2021, which saw adjusted operating profit jump 52 per cent on the same period last year. 

Pre-tax profit also rose, to £113m from a loss of £498m last year and fee-based revenue grew 7 per cent to £755m.

However outflows continued albeit on a lower scale, with assets under management dropping slightly from £535bn to £532bn, which the firm said was due to “flows and corporate actions” which were “partially offset by positive market movements.”

sonia.rach@ft.com

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