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Aviva buys stake in robo-adviser

Aviva buys stake in robo-adviser

Aviva has bought a majority shareholding in robo-adviser Wealthify for an undisclosed amount.

Wealthify will be available to Aviva’s customers through MyAviva, where it will be available alongside the providers other products and services.

Investment from Aviva will also support Wealthify’s business development, helping to accelerate its growth plans.

Blair Turnbull, managing director of Aviva UK Digital, said the deal is part of Aviva’s strategy to build customer loyalty by providing customers with a wide range of insurance and investment services through MyAviva.

He 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.”

Launched in April 2016 and based in Cardiff, Wealthify aims to attract millennials and those who are new to investment by providing a simple, easy to use and low fee digital investment service.

For a minimum investment of £1 customers can invest in one of five diversified investment plans through Isas and general investment accounts.

Richard Theo, co-founder and chief executive of Wealthify, said: “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.”

He said the capital investment from Aviva will be used primarily to accelerate Wealthify’s growth plans and develop its technology.

Aviva is just the latest provider to take a stake in a robo-adviser.

Back in 2015, LV took a majority stake in UK-based automated advice firm Wealth Wizards, increasing its capital to allow the development of its white-label algorithm based platform.

In June, Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset manager, took a large minority stake in robo-adviser Scalable Capital.

Scalable Capital, which launched in the UK last summer, describes itself as “Europe’s fastest growing digital wealth manager”.

damian.fantato@ft.com