Digital workplace pension innovator Smart Pension has been selected to take part in the Government’s pioneering Fintech Bridge Program which aims to fast track British financial technology firms on the international stage.
Smart will be one of an initial cohort of ten sector-leading companies to take part in the initiative in Australia, a pilot scheme developed by the Department for International Trade (DIT) in partnership with the Treasury, which aims to reduce barriers to international expansion and open further opportunities for UK fintechs.
Dan McLaughlin, Smart Pension’s director of international, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to be part of the UK-Australia Fintech Bridge Program which will put UK fintechs front and centre on the world stage.
“International expansion is a key part of our platform as a service strategy and this intensive support and access to the Australian market, particularly working with Australian Supers, will allow us to build on the work we’re already doing to provide our world-class pension technology overseas in key retirement markets.”
The Australian Fintech Bridge Pilot was one of two programs announced this week, as part of London’s Fintech Week. The other was focused on Hong Kong.
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP said: “I’m delighted to announce the launch of DIT’s Fintech Bridge Pilot Programs. The 2 cohorts are made up of sector-leading companies representing the spirit and innovation which make London an undisputed global fintech hub.
“With the UK accounting for 11% of the global fintech industry and employing over 75,000 people in the UK, DIT will continue to support fintech and build upon initiatives and policy frameworks, such as the Fintech Bridge Programs for reaching key markets and ensuring we remain at the forefront of the industry.”
Last year Smart announced it had won an international competitive tender to develop a pensions technology platform for New Ireland Assurance.
In January this year, it announced J.P. Morgan had taken a minority equity stake in the business, adding to the investment made in the firm by LGIM in 2016.
The Government initiative builds on Fintech Bridges, launched in 2016 by DIT, HMT, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the then-Economic Secretary (EST). These represent the Government’s flagship international fintech policy, which sets out a bilateral agreement between the UK and a priority market with the aim of facilitating trade flows, reducing frictions to international growth and increasing access to capital opportunities.
Smart Pension is a global savings and investments technology platform provider. Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Evans, CEO, and Will Wynne, MD, it is one of the UK's largest providers of workplace pensions. Its award-winning master trust is overseen by independent professional trustees. In 2016, Europe’s second largest asset manager Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) took a minority stake in the digital pension platform, part of a move by LGIM to invest in high-achieving, innovative technology that has a positive impact on the wider economy. In January 2019 J.P. Morgan invested as part of a strategic investment round and in November 2019, Link Group, the leading administrator in the Australian superannuation industry, invested as part of strategic partnership.
In 2019 Smart Pension was named DC Master Trust of the Year, DC Innovation of the Year and Retirement Innovation of the Year in the UK Pensions Awards. It was also named European Pension Fund of the Year 2019 in the European Pension Awards.
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