DWS Group (“DWS”) has acquired a minority stake in UK-based retiretech Smart Pension Limited (“Smart”). The company provides a cloud-native, API-based technology platform, allowing financial services organizations and governments to administer retirement savings plans. Notably, the technology platform powers its award-winning Smart Pension Master Trust, one of the “big four” UK auto enrolment master trusts, and is also capable of being offered to leading financial institutions in the UK and internationally as a Platform as a Service. Building on its success in the UK market, Smart is now geared for global growth and is focused on establishing its presence in the US and other defined contribution pension plan markets. The investment will form an integral part of DWS’ growth strategy in the UK. Smart and DWS have also agreed the intention to form a strategic partnership with the aim of offering investment solutions for the benefit of the members of the Smart Pension Master Trust. Closing of the transaction has already taken place and the parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality as to the price and other commercial details of the investment.
“We are looking forward to delivering on the opportunity to work with an innovative retiretech disruptor that is fast-growing and well-placed to compete both in the UK and global retirement market. Increasingly, defined contribution savers are seeking to diversify their returns across a broader range of asset classes, and we believe that DWS’ asset management capabilities across both private and listed markets means that we are ideally placed to meet their evolving needs,” said Dirk Goergen, member of the Executive Board of DWS Group and, as Head of Client Coverage Division, responsible for sales management and the global sales strategy.
Mark Cullen, member of the Executive Board of DWS Group and Chief Operating Officer added: “Acquiring a minority stake in Smart is an exciting investment opportunity for DWS given the outlook for growth in defined contribution pension savings both in the UK and globally. We believe that the strength of Smart’s technology platform underpins their current success and that the asset management capabilities of DWS have the potential to help Smart to achieve its global ambitions.”
Co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, commented: “Alongside our strategic investors, we are delighted to announce DWS Group as an investor in Smart. We're delighted by their recognition of Smart's journey to date, and the huge additional opportunity ahead of us in the $55trn global retirement savings market, means they're joining us as an investor and partner to help fuel our global growth as a wave of legislative change sweeps the world. Our mission is ‘to transform retirement, savings and financial wellbeing, across all generations, around the world’. With strategic partners like DWS Group, and our existing stable of investors, we are in a great place to continue executing to deliver on that, providing governments, financial institutions, employers and savers across the world with a better financial future.”
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About DWS Group
DWS Group (DWS) is one of the world's leading asset managers with EUR 859bn of assets under management (as of 30 June 2021). Building on more than 60 years of experience, it has a reputation for excellence in Germany, Europe, the Americas and Asia. DWS is recognized by clients globally as a trusted source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation across a full spectrum of investment disciplines.
We offer individuals and institutions access to our strong investment capabilities across all major asset classes and solutions aligned to growth trends. Our diverse expertise in Active, Passive and Alternatives asset management – as well as our deep environmental, social and governance focus – complement each other when creating targeted solutions for our clients. Our expertise and on-the-ground-knowledge of our economists, research analysts and investment professionals are brought together in one consistent global CIO View, which guides our investment approach strategically.
DWS wants to innovate and shape the future of investing: with approximately 3,500 employees in offices all over the world, we are local while being one global team. We are investors – entrusted to build the best foundation for our clients’ future.
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 more than £2 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. Global retirement operating system, Smart, is the technology platform for the Smart Pension Master Trust with more than £1.9bn AUM.
Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers and Chrysalis Investments are all investors in Smart.