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Aviva goes robo with Wealthify acquisition

Aviva goes robo with Wealthify acquisition

Aviva has joined the growing number of large financial companies backing 'robo' investment with a deal to buy a majority stake in Wealthify. 

Advisers may be spared talk of 'robo-advice' with the latest acquisition though: Wealthify states on its website that it does not offer regulated advice and clients should seek an IFA if they are unsure about investing. 

Instead Wealthify offers a discretionary service through its website and an app which allows people to invest in five model portfolios using an ISA or a general investment account wrapper. 

Following the deal, Aviva customers will be able to access Wealthify through the online hub MyAviva. The life company has also pledged to invest in Wealthify's growth, although it has not revealed how much it plans to spend. 

Wealthify chief executive Richard Theo (pictured) suggested his company has big ambitions with the new backing. 

'This significant investment in the emerging "robo" market, by one of the world's largest and most recognised financial services brands, is validation of the vision we set out to achieve three years ago to change investing for the better,' he said. 'Aviva's investment and access to their millions of UK customers gives us confidence that we can become the leader in this market in the UK and beyond.'

He added that some of the extra money from Aviva would be spent on improving Wealthify's technology.

Blair Turnbull, managing director of Aviva UK Digital, said the ability to invest with as little as £1 attracted Aviva to the deal. 

'Together with the brand and financial strength of Aviva, we are very excited about the future opportunity, making Wealthify available to Aviva customers through the convenience of our MyAviva online and App experience,' he said.

Aviva joins fellow life company LV= with the investment in online services. LV= has a majority stake in Wealth Wizards, which unlike Wealthify offers robo-advice. Asset managers including BlackRock and Schroders have also invested in robo services.  

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