Aviva is set to acquire a majority stake in robo-investment service Wealthify.
While it does not give regulated advice, Wealthify offers Isas and general investment accounts that invest in the five model portfolios it manages.
Aviva wants to make these available through its digital hub MyAviva. Subject to regulatory approval, purchasing 18-month-old start-up Wealthify leads Aviva down a similar road to competitors like LV, which owns a majority stake in Wealth Wizards, BlackRock, which owns FutureAdvisor, and Allianz, which has a stake in MoneyFarm.
Aviva UK digital managing director Blair Turnbull says: “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.”
Aviva explains its Wealthify purchase
Wealthify chief executive Richard Theo says Aviva’s investment will be used to speed up its growth plans, but also to improve its technology.
Finance and Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “Its about speed to market. The reason you it this way is that, its nothing Aviva couldn’t do themselves, but it would take them 18 months to do it. This way they are in the market sooner.
“This will trigger a lot more M&A activity in the area. Having bought one, who wants to get caught without? The question is are there enough to go round? Probably not.”