Partnership  

Smart Pension expands overseas with govt help

Smart Pension expands overseas with govt help

Auto-enrolment platform Smart Pension will get a boost from the government allowing it to access overseas markets as part of a flagship fintech programme.

International trade secretary Liam Fox has launched two fintech bridge pilot programmes in Australia and Hong Kong, in partnership with HM Treasury, to provide support to each company involved.

Only 10 companies have been selected to take part in each programme, with the companies chosen having displayed success with fintech in their sector. Smart Pension is one of the companies involved in this year’s Australia programme.

Dan McLaughlin, Smart Pension's director of international, said: "We're delighted to have been selected to be part of the UK-Australia Fintech Bridge Programme which will put UK fintechs front and centre on the world stage.

“International expansion is a key part of our platform as a service strategy and this intensive support and access to the Australian market, particularly working with Australian Supers, will allow us to build on the work we're already doing to provide our world-class pension technology overseas in key retirement markets."

The programmes will run from March to November 2019 with the participants visiting Australia and Hong Kong as well as receiving support from the Department for International Trade, including mentoring and networking advice.

The programme includes introductions to key contacts, connection with regulators and support to develop business relationships and opportunities in either Hong Kong or Australia..

Mr Fox said: “The two cohorts are made up of sector-leading companies representing the spirit and innovation which make London an undisputed global fintech hub.

"With the UK accounting for 11 per cent of the global fintech industry and employing over 75,000 people in the UK, DIT will continue to support fintech and build upon initiatives and policy frameworks, such as the Fintech Bridge Programs for reaching key markets and ensuring we remain at the forefront of the industry."

Australia and Hong Kong have almost 1,000 fintech companies between them.

Launched in 2016 by DIT, Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, fintech bridges represent the government’s flagship international fintech policy, which sets out a bilateral agreement between the UK and a priority market with the aim of facilitating trade flows, reducing friction to international growth and increasing access to capital opportunities.

Last year Smart Pension announced it had won an international competitive tender to develop a pensions technology platform for New Ireland Assurance. 

In January this year, it announced J.P. Morgan had taken a minority equity stake in the business, adding to the investment made in the firm by LGIM in 2016.

amy.austin@ft.com