London-based Smart is a retirement savings technology platform provider that powers the Smart Pension Master Trust – one of the ‘big four’ UK auto-enrolment master trusts. In a recent development, the company has announced that it raised €193M in its Series D round of funding.
Smart Pension Master is powered by the innovation of the Smart platform. Launched in 2015, the Smart Pension Master Trust has grown from €117M in AUM to well over €1.16B in the last two years. It is overseen by an independent board of professional trustees and is regulated by The Pensions Regulator.
The funding was led by Chrysalis Investments with a €88M equity investment. Additional investors to be announced in the coming weeks. The overall round will comprise €129M of primary and €65M of secondary equity.
Chrysalis Investments joins Legal & General, JP Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays, and Natixis Investment Managers, the strategic investors to date in Smart.
Speaking about Chrysalis, co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, said, “We are very excited to welcome Chrysalis as they really understand the global scale of our vision and opportunity. Chrysalis’s investment adviser, Jupiter Asset Management, is a prominent leader in UK investment and Chrysalis itself has an astonishing track record of backing Europe’s most successful tech businesses. We are delighted to join the Chrysalis portfolio.”
Chrysalis Investments is an investment trust, listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, that is managed by Jupiter Asset Management’s (formerly Merian Global Investors) small-and mid-cap UK equities team. With assets under management of over €8.8B, the investment team claims to have established itself as one of the UK’s leading crossover investors.
Some of its portfolio companies include Klarna, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Starling Bank, The Hut Group and Graphcore, as well as wefox.
The raised funding from this round will help Smart strengthen its retirement technology platform offering in the UK, the US, Australia and the Middle East, with additional territories to follow including the Netherlands where the entire retirement system is moving to Defined Contribution (DC).
Co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, says, “We are very focused on our core goal: offering the very best technology to improve the lives of retirement savers around the world. We also recognise that there are tremendous opportunities for us to cost effectively deploy capital in M&A to bring members and assets onto our technology platform in the UK, the US and beyond and we will be pursuing such opportunities with the energy those markets’ retirement savers deserve.”
“Transforming retirement, savings and financial well-being”
Founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings and financial well-being around the world.
The company partners with governments and financial institutions (including insurers, asset managers, banks, financial advisers) to deliver retirement savings and income solutions that are digital, bespoke and cost efficient.
With 550 team members globally, Smart is currently operational in the UK, the USA, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East with about a million savers entrusting over €1.98B in assets on the platform.
Speaking on the investment, Richard Watts, Head of Strategy and co-manager of Chrysalis Investments says, “Smart, in just a few years, has disrupted the retirement savings industry, working with some of the world’s most well-known financial services providers to create a better way to save toward retirement and access funds during retirement.”
“The world has changed. Just as companies like Wise and Klarna add huge benefits to their users via best-in-class financial technology, Smart offers user experience and technology to transform retirement for savers around the world. What Smart has achieved in the last 12 months alone was a real catalyst for our support,” adds Watts.
In 2020, Smart witnessed a 160 per cent growth in assets on its technology platform with Bank of Ireland’s insurance arm – New Ireland Assurance, and with global insurance giant Zurich and the Dubai International Financial Centre in the Middle East, both at the height of the pandemic.
Speaking on the growth, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, said, “Smart’s achievements over the last 12 months are testament to our amazing team, and also to the incredible resilience of both our operating model and the Smart platform that we deploy for large financial institutions and national governments. With close to a million savers on our platform already, we now have straight line visibility through to well over five million savers on the platform within the next 24 months.”
They further add, “The global retirement market is already a colossal $55T of AUM. A huge wave of regulatory change is sweeping the globe, with governments shifting responsibility for retirement liabilities from their own balance sheet onto the mass market, via the workplace. Smart is the only proven, global, cloud-native retirement technology solution to this challenge. Smart is set to become the global operating system for retirement.”