DWS acquires minority stake in Smart after funding round

Asset manager takes part in £165m funding round to join panel of investors

James Phillips
clock • 1 min read
Smart co-founder Andrew Evans

Smart co-founder Andrew Evans

DWS has joined Smart’s £165m funding round to acquire a minority stake, joining a slate of asset managers to invest in the retirement tech provider.

The Series D funding round also includes a £75m investment from Chrysalis Investments, whose portfolio includes Wise and Starling Bank.

DWS has assets under management totalling €859bn (£732bn) across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Smart said the investment "further cements" its position as a market disruptor, "delivering better outcomes for savers as they move toward retirement and beyond".

As well as being the provider of auto-enrolment (AE) master trust Smart Pension, Smart has offices across Europe, Asia and the US, as well as partnerships with Zurich in Dubai and New Ireland Assurance in Dublin.

DWS chief operating officer and executive board member Mark Cullen said: "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."

Smart co-founders Will Wynne and Andrew Evans added: "We're delighted by [DWS'] recognition of Smart's journey to date, and the huge additional opportunity ahead of us in the $55trn (£41trn) 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."

Smart's other investors are: Barclays, JP Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers.

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