Aviva buys stake in robo firm Wealthify

Insurance giant Aviva has become the latest financial services firm to invest in automated robo-advice after agreeing to snap up a majority stake in Wealthify.

Aviva said the move was "another important step" forward in its digital strategy as it looks to overhaul the insurance industry and transform itself into a fintech firm.

Wealthify will become accessible through Aviva's online portal alongside the insurer's other products and services.

Cardiff-based Wealthify is a low-cost automated service which aims to make investing affordable and accessible, allowing customers to invest with as little as a pound.

It was launched in April last year by technology entrepreneur Richard Theo and chartered wealth manager Michelle Pearce and offers customers the choice of investing in one of five diversified investment plans through Isas and general investment accounts.

Blair Turnbull, managing director of Aviva UK Digital, said the investment "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".

Dr Theo, co-founder and chief executive of Wealthify, said: "Aviva's investment in our business reflects a clear shift in market demand for high-quality, technology-enabled financial services solutions like Wealthify."

The decision by Aviva to buy a stake comes amid a wave of investment in robo-advice, with price comparison site GoCompare recently taking a stake in Mortgage Gym.

High street banks such as NatWest are also gearing up for robo-advice investment services.

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