Robo-advice 

Moneyfarm buys German robo-adviser

Moneyfarm buys German robo-adviser

Robo-adviser Moneyfarm has bought a German digital wealth manager, expanding its presence into a third European country.

The acquisition of Vaamo, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Moneyfarm to "accelerate" its entrance into the German market.

Moneyfarm, which launched in Italy in 2012, expanded into the UK in 2016.

Giovanni Daprà, chief executive and co-founder of Moneyfarm, said: "Vaamo’s strong foothold in the German market and established B2B offering made them an attractive acquisition to further cement our position as a pan-European investment provider.

"Their shared preference for providing regulated investment advice, over an execution-only service, is in line with our investment ethos and was a key consideration in the process."

Vaamo launched in 2014 as Germany’s first independent robo-adviser, offering regulated fully-managed discretionary portfolios like Moneyfarm.

It has since entered into partnerships with digital bank N26 and 1822direkt, the online business of one of Germany's largest savings banks.

Thomas Bloch and Oliver Vins, the co-founders and co-chief executives of Vaamo, will both join Moneyfarm's executive committee and Mr Bloch will become head of the firm's German business while Mr Vins will become head of product at Moneyfarm.

Mr Bloch said: "Moneyfarm’s acquisition of Vaamo marks an exciting new phase of growth for both companies, as we look to combine our European experiences to provide more personalised and innovative investment advice solutions internationally."

Moneyfarm has not revealed how much Vaamo has in assets under management or how much the combined business would have.

It is one of a number of robo-advisers expanding across borders in a bid to reach scale, including Scalable Capital, which already has a presence in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Meanwhile Wealthsimple, which was launched in Canada in 2014, operated in the USA and expanded into the UK last year. It has £2bn under management globally.

damian.fantato@ft.com