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Major investment trust puts £19m behind challenger bank

Merian Chrysalis, the investment trust from Merian Global Investors, has taken a £19m stake in a challenger bank Starling Bank.

The trust, which launched late last year as the first under Richard Buxton’s new investment manager Merian, is targeting late-stage private companies.

The £19m from Merian comes as part of a £60m funding round for Starling. The challenger was founded in May 2017 by banking expert Anne Boden. Its core products include bank accounts for retail clients and small businesses. Starling also provides its technology to other financial services firms.

Starling will use Merian’s investment will “to accelerate its penetration into current markets, as well as providing funding to expand across Europe”, according to a stock market announcement this morning.

Co-fund managers Nick Williamson and Richard Watts said the banking sector is in the process of transformation, and that they believe Starling is well positioned to succeed.

Williamson says:”Financial services is a market undergoing considerable change, driven by technology and users’ desire for better and more convenient offerings. The Starling team has developed a highly impressive and efficient platform, which we believe positions it well to continue to take share in core banking markets, as well as the ability to offer innovative new services in the future.

Watts adds: “We have been very impressed by Starling’s growth plans and the infrastructure it has developed over the last few years. We believe there is a significant opportunity for the business to leverage its capabilities, particularly to expand in the SME market.”

Merian floated the trust in November, raising £100m.

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