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London-based Smart ropes in DWS as part of £165M funding to transform retirement across the world

In a mission to transform retirement, savings and financial well-being in the UK and around the world, London-based Smart, the fast-growing global retirement technology provider, has announced that DWS Group (DWS) has joined its £165 million series D funding round, acquiring a minority stake. This follows the recent announcement that Chrysalis Investments has joined the startup’s prestigious list of investors.

Stellar list of investors

The investment from DWS, one of the world’s leading asset managers with €859 billion AUM, known for its excellence in Europe, the Americas and Asia, further cements Smart’s position as a major disruptor in the global retirement technology sector, delivering better outcomes for savers as they move toward retirement and beyond. The platform’s technology powers their own captive master trust, one of the ‘big four’ UK auto enrolment master trusts, as well as partnering with major financial institutions internationally including Zurich in Dubai, and New Ireland Assurance in Ireland.

Existing investors include Chrysalis Investments (whose portfolio of 12 businesses includes Wise and Starling Bank), Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers. Chrysalis Investments leads the Series D funding round with a £75m investment.

Smart’s technology platform serves close to a million savers and is on a trajectory to support 5 million savers over the next 24 months, having grown from £100 million AUM to £2 billion in just over two years.

Tapping into global retirement market

“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.”

Savings and financial wellbeing

Co-founders of Smart, Will Wynne and Andrew Evans, commented: “Alongside our other 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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