Nashville, TN / May 15, 2023 / Smart, the global retirement FinTech that entered the US in 2020, today announces it has closed its $95m Series E funding in a round led by Aquiline Capital Partners LLC (“Aquiline”), a private investment firm based in New York and London. Existing investors participating in the round include: Chrysalis Investments, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, DWS, Barclays and Natixis Investment Managers.
Funds from this investment round will bolster Smart’s global expansion plans, building on what we consider to be the company’s strong performance in the UK, Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia. Proceeds from the funding round will also help finance growth and acquisitions.
In February 2023, Smart was ranked among Europe’s fastest-growing companies by the Financial Times.
Smart has almost $7 billion in platform Assets Under Management (AUM)* and is expected to exceed $12.5 billion by the end of June 2023 following this Series E funding. We believe growth has been driven by the accelerating global demand for modern, digital retirement savings technology, the success of Smart Pension in the UK and strategic M&A, including the US acquisition of Stadion Money Management in 2022.
Established in 2014 by Andrew Evans and Will Wynne in the wake of the UK’s rollout of mandatory workplace retirement plan enrollment, Smart owns and operates one of “the big four” UK auto enrollment master trusts, serving more than one million savers and 70,000 employers. The group’s ongoing and future success is underpinned by delivering innovative retirement technology globally.
In the US, Smart's primary focus is to provide retirement technology options that span three core areas: retirement plans, personalized investment strategies and retirement income. By working with key stakeholders in the industry, Smart seeks to offer innovative ways to address some of the most significant challenges related to retirement savings access, as well as retirement outcome solutions for individuals and employers. Smart partners with plan sponsors, recordkeepers, advisors, consultants, asset managers, insurers, and third-party administrators to deliver solutions that range from fiduciary oversight and pooled retirement plans to managed accounts and retirement income.
A successful tech export story for the UK, the platform already powers numerous retirement savings solutions outside the UK. These include a partnership with one of Ireland’s most well-known financial services institutions, pooled retirement solutions rolled out nationally across the US and a partnership with Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East), part of the Zurich Insurance Group, on the Dubai government workplace saving plan.
As populations age and governments struggle with high national debt and large fiscal deficits, the responsibility to save for retirement is increasingly being pushed by regulation, onto individuals and employees via the workplace. To help them close the retirement savings gap, financial institutions are leaning on technology providers like Smart to provide technology solutions that help individuals save for and spend confidently in retirement.
Jeff Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Aquiline, said:
“Smart’s retirement technology leadership coupled with Aquiline’s deep experience in the retirement technology industry across the US and Europe makes this a compelling investment, as does the growing global need for better retirement savings technology. Smart has consistently delivered impressive commercial growth, and is backed by an array of top-tier investors whom we are delighted to join.”
The co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, said:
“This investment is strong recognition of Smart's success and journey to date, and highlights the immense opportunity that lies ahead. We are on a mission to transform retirement, savings and financial well-being. We are the global leader in retirement technology and our industry-leading platform, Keystone, is being deployed by the biggest, most successful financial institutions around the world.
This is a $62 trillion global sector in the early stages of being disrupted and we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of that. We have already reached scale and profitability in the UK, with Smart Pension now serving in excess of one million savers, this backing allows us to achieve that scale and profitability in our global markets across the group. We welcome Aquiline to our board and we’re incredibly excited for the years ahead.”
Jodan Ledford, CEO of Smart in the US, said:
“We are excited to work with Aquiline in this next phase of our growth. In conjunction with our current partners, Aquiline's knowledge of the US retirement market will provide tremendous insight and value to our expansion in the US.”
Smart continues to strengthen its board of directors, with Charles Janeway of Aquiline, joining as non-executive director.
Lazard acted as financial adviser to Smart in relation to the Series E funding round. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as financial adviser to Aquiline.
*As of May 1, 2023
About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Aquiline Capital Partners is a private investment firm based in New York and London investing in companies across financial services, technology, healthcare and business services. The firm has $9.6 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2022. For more information about Aquiline, its investment professionals, and its portfolio companies, please visit www.aquiline.com.
About Stadion Money Management
Established in 1993, Stadion is headquartered near Athens, Georgia. Stadion works with financial professionals, asset managers, and recordkeepers to build custom retirement plans and participant level investment solutions. Stadion Money Management, LLC ("Stadion") is a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Stadion, including fees, can be found in Stadion's ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. Visit Stadion Money Management at www.stadionmoney.com.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments are subject to risk, and any of Stadion's investment strategies may lose money.
Smart is a global savings and investments technology provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings, and financial well-being, across all generations, around the world.
Smart partners with financial institutions (including broker-dealers, RIAs, retirement providers, insurers, asset managers, banks) and financial advisers to deliver retirement savings and income solutions that are digital, customized, and cost-efficient.
Smart, founded in the UK, operates in the USA, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East with over a million savers and over $5 billion in assets. Smart saw over 2,000% growth in assets on its platform since 2018.
Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group and Aquiline Capital Partners are all investors to date in Smart.
For more information, please visit www.smartretire.com.
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