NASHVILLE, TN, 28 June 2021: Smart, the global retirement technology leader that entered the US in 2020 to provide recordkeeping and retirement savings solutions for pooled employer plans under the SECURE Act, announced today that it is concluding a $228M Series D funding round. Through its Platform as a Service model, Smart's technology powers retirement savings solutions for partners including Ireland's largest bank, and Zurich in the Middle East, with more partnerships to be announced. The Smart platform also powers one of the UK's largest master trusts (known as a 'PEP' in the US), the Smart Pension Master Trust. Chrysalis Investments, one of the UK’s leading crossover investors, is leading Smart’s Series D funding round, with additional investors to be announced in the coming weeks.
The investment from Chrysalis, whose portfolio includes Klarna, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Starling Bank, The Hut Group and Graphcore, as well as wefox, the insurtech unicorn from Germany, will see Smart further grow its retirement technology platform offering in the US, rolling out its proven Pooled Employer Plan technology to allow employers and financial services organizations to benefit from best-in-class user experience, meeting the needs of the SECURE Act, SECURE 2.0, and future potential retirement savings requirements, such as auto-enrolment.
Smart saw enormous growth in 2020, with assets on the platform growing by more than 160% to almost $2.4bn and the successful rollouts of the Smart 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.
With over 70,000 employers on its platform, Smart entered the US market with industry adoption already on a par with the country's largest recordkeepers by number of employers. This investment will further Smart’s expansion of its cloud-based, turn-key solutions geared toward Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) for plan advisors and employers of all sizes, and support its goal of providing access to retirement savings plans for millions of Americans.
“This investment provides tremendous support for our momentum in the US market. We believe that there is a major opportunity to transform the retirement market, providing wider access to retirement savings, delivering intuitive retirement income solutions and broadly democratizing retirement for all Americans,” said Jodan Ledford, CEO of Smart US. “This investment allows us to bring on more talented retirement and technology professionals, expand the presence of our platform, the capabilities of our firm and continually deliver innovative solutions.
Alongside Jodan Ledford, Smart's US board consists of an all-star lineup, including Mark Zinkula as Chairperson (former CEO of Legal & General Investment Management, a $1.8trn asset manager), Anne Lester as Non-Executive Director (former Head of Retirement Solutions for Global Asset Management Solutions at J.P. Morgan), as well as the co-founders, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Watts, Head of Strategy and Co-Manager of Chrysalis Investments said:
“Smart is an innovator and continues to establish itself as the leading retirement technology platform provider globally. In just a few years it has disrupted the retirement savings industry, working with some of the world’s best-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 and we believe that together we can help Smart achieve their global ambitions.”
Chrysalis Investments joins Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays and Natixis Investment Managers, the strategic investors to date in Smart.
The co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, said:
“Chrysalis Investments joins us at a really exciting time. Smart’s achievements over the last 12 months are a 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."
“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 recognize 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.”
Jodan Ledford, CEO of Smart US, concluded:
“The global retirement market is already a colossal $55trn 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. Our Platform-as-a-Service model powered by our single global retirement technology platform is perfect for financial services companies and governments trying to get to grips with delivering for their members and citizens as they save for retirement and beyond. Due to all of this, Smart is set to become the global operating system for retirement.”
Smart is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings, and financial well-being around the world.
Smart 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.
In addition to the UK, Smart is operating in the USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East with close to a million savers entrusting over $2.4 billion in assets on the platform.
Smart supports its clients with a 550-strong global team and saw 160% growth in assets on its technology platform in 2020.
Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers and Chrysalis Investments are all investors to date in Smart.
We tweet as @SmartPensionUK.
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