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Sunday 16 December 2018


Spring Conference

UK start-up Smart Pension financed by Norwegian investor

Written by Talya Misiri

Auto-enrolment pension provider Smart Pension has received an investment of millions of pounds from one of Norway’s wealthiest families.

According to Sky News, the Stensrud family, who own the Norwegian asset manager Skagen, has bought a stake in the British start-up.

Launched in 2015, Smart Pension has positioned itself as a direct competitor to the government backed master trust Nest. The company has worked to target hundreds of thousands of small UK businesses that are looking to auto-enrol their staff. Its service is free for employers and charges individual employees a fee worth 0.75 per cent of their pension contributions. This is significantly lower than the 3.9 per cent charged by Nest.

The Norwegian funding will take the total amount of capital invested in the company since it was set up to £25m and will value Smart Pension at £65m, insiders have said.

This investment comes close to a year after Legal & General also bought into Smart Pension, as a way into the financial technology sector.

Smart Pension co-founder and chief executive Andrew Evans, said: "Like the government provider, Nest, we 100 per cent guarantee to accept all employers and employees. We, however, differ hugely on funding.

"Nest recently reported it has spent nearly £600m to date and that it is currently forecast to cost the taxpayer over £1.2bn."

It has been noted that Smart Pension is to use its latest funding towards the introduction of faster technology, which could also attract employees for larger firms who are dissatisfied with their existing pension scheme administrators, Sky News said.

In addition, it will also enable the firm to expand internationally, working with countries exploring auto-enrolment.

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