Insurance and asset management company Aviva has made a strategic investment to acquire a majority shareholding in Guernsey-connected fintech business Wealthify.

Wealthify is an online investment platform that enables anyone to become an investor. It provides a level playing field and access to diversified investment portfolios for people who might have traditionally found it difficult to allocate relatively small amounts of savings efficiently. It was launched in April 2016 with significant financial backing and operational expertise from Guernsey. It now has more than 5,000 customers and the rate of growth of assets under management is accelerating, having already doubled every few months.

Aviva's investment is part of its strategy to build customer loyalty by providing customers with a wide range of insurance and investment services all managed through the convenience and simplicity of Aviva's digital hub, MyAviva. Aviva's investment will also support Wealthify's business development, helping to accelerate Wealthify's future growth plans.

Wealthify Chairman Richard Avery-Wright, also of Guernsey-based asset management company RAW Capital Partners, which had a leading role in the launch of Wealthify, was delighted with Aviva's 'significant' investment.

He said: "Much of the investment capital to date has come from the Channel Islands, especially from clients of RAW Capital Partners in Guernsey. The Wealthify team has worked tirelessly for the past three years to deliver an online investment platform that enables anyone to become an investor."

Wealthify co-founder and Chief Investment Officer Michelle Pearce, who is also originally from Guernsey, said the investment was validation of the vision her company set out to achieve three years ago to change investing for the better.

She added: "Aviva's investment and access to their millions of UK customers gives us confidence that we can become a leading digital disruptor in wealth management. The capital investment from Aviva will be used primarily to accelerate our ambitious growth plans as well as develop our technology to enhance the proposition. We will remain focused on simplicity, affordability and transparency.

"We're proud of our Channel Island roots and of the strong connection we've retained with Guernsey through our shareholders."

Aviva UK Digital Managing Director, Blair Turnbull said Wealthify took the complexity out of investing.

"It is remarkably easy to use, with no complicated jargon, no expensive fees, and you can start investing with as little as £1," he said. "It is particularly aimed at traditional cash savers, who are seeking to diversify their investments, and also at millennials who appreciate an effortless and straightforward digital experience.

"Wealthify combines a smart management team with great technology and a start-up culture. Together with the brand and financial strength of Aviva, we are very excited about the future opportunity. This is another important step in Aviva's digital strategy. It underlines our commitment to invest in and partner with leading digital businesses, allowing our customers to benefit from new technology and making insurance and investments simpler, easier and more convenient."

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