Cushon, a workplace savings fintech, is acquiring Creative Pension Trust as part of its mission to enable more savers to benefit from its app-first, climate-friendly, workplace savings solution.
The deal brings Cushon’s total customers to 400,000 and assets under management (including ISA savings) to around £1.7bn (€2bn) with annual inflows of more than £300m, it announced.
This is the master trust’s third workplace pension acquisition in two years in line with regulatory goals to drive further consolidation in the market.
One of those consolidation deals include last summer’s acquisition of Construction First Limited – the scheme sponsor of the Workers Pension Trust, an auto-enrolment master trust in Northern Ireland.
With the addition of the 14,500 additional employers under Creative, this makes Cushon the fifth largest master trust pension provider in the UK, the firm claimed.
The UK pensions market is the third largest in the world with a total of £2.58trn invested, according to Willis Towers Watson’s Global Pension Assets Study 2021.
The acquisition was supported by a further fundraising round, raised entirely by Cushon’s existing investors – Augmentum Fintech Plc and AshGrove Capital – which also provides additional growth capital for Cushon’s capability to scale.
Ben Pollard, chief executive officer and founder of Cushon, said: “Our mission is to offer UK savers a convenient, climate-friendly, and great value way to save, through a combination of cutting-edge technology and socially responsible investments.”
He added: “Right now, workplace pensions are simply too complicated, boring, and disconnected from things people care deeply about. Cushon is here to change that, and today’s announcement is a hugely significant milestone for us.”
Sally Webber, CEO at Creative, said: “With more and more customers looking to use technology to manage their pension, and a heightened focus on the environmental and social impact of investments, joining the Cushon group will allow us to ensure our customers’ interests are both considered and protected.”
Michael Ambery, partner at Hymans Robertson, said: “The announcement about Cushon’s purchase of Creative is great news, and indication of a very busy workplace savings market in 2022. This is the first headline consolidation of master trust providers this year, and highlights a market that is moving in this direction.”
Completion of the acquisition, which is expected in Q1 2022, is subject to regulatory approval.