Insurance giant Aviva acquires majority stake in Welsh fintech firm

Insurance giant Aviva has acquired a majority shareholding in Wealthify, an automated fintech service that’s making investment affordable and accessible in the UK.

Subject to regulatory approval, the investment is an integral part of Aviva’s plans to improve the loyalty of customers by providing them with a wide range of digital-savvy insurance and investment services.

Wealthify will be accessible to customers through MyAviva, which is the company’s digital hub. It’ll be available alongside other of the firm’s investment products and services.

As well as this, the company will also provide Wealthify with business development support, helping to accelerate its future growth plans in the UK and across the globe.

Founded in 2016, the start-up is the brainchild of award-winning tech entrepreneur Dr Richard Theo and chartered wealth manager Michelle Pearce who saw the potential of creating a platform for millennials and investment newbies.

It’s received financial support from range of organisations, including the Welsh Government. The platform makes the process of becoming an investor easy, quick and affordable.

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

Blair Turnbull, managing director of Aviva UK Digital, said: “Wealthify aims to take the complexity out of investing.  It is remarkably easy to use, with no complicated jargon, no expensive fees, and you can start investing with as little as £1.

“It is particularly aimed at traditional cash savers, who are seeking to diversify their investments, and also at millennials who appreciate an effortless and straightforward digital experience.

He commended the start-up’s team and platform. “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.

“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.”

Richard Theo, co-founder and CEO of Wealthify, said he’s excited to work with Aviva. “It’s with great excitement that we’re announcing the partnership with Aviva today.

“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.

“We are particularly proud that our business was born in Cardiff, home to a thriving financial services, software and start-up eco-system, which benefits enormously from the Welsh Government’s vision to position Cardiff and Wales as one of the UK’s leading locations for fintech and entrepreneurs.

He added: “Aviva’s investment in our business reflects a clear shift in market demand for high-quality, technology-enabled financial services solutions like Wealthify.

“With the backing of such an established and trusted consumer finance brand, we feel ever more confident in our mission to bring the benefits of investing to mass-market savers and encourage them to embrace our service as a hassle free way to invest.

“The capital investment from Aviva will be used primarily to accelerate our ambitious growth plans as well as develop our technology to enhance the proposition. We will remain focused on simplicity, affordability and transparency, and strive to make investing accessible to everyone.”