Smart, one of the UK’s largest providers of workplace pensions through the Smart Pension Master Trust, has announced that Natixis Investment Managers has made a strategic investment in the company.

The move follows previous investments from Legal & General Investment Management a few years ago and, most recently, from JP Morgan in February 2019 and from Australian administrator Link Group in November.

Smart was launched in 2014 and started the Smart Pension Master Trust Smart a year later.

It said it has grown rapidly, “helping tens of thousands of UK employers meet their auto enrolment obligations, as well as providing workplace savings technology solutions in Dubai and the Republic of Ireland”.

As Smart now plans to enter the US and Australian markets, it said Natixis IM’s equity stake forms part of its ongoing preferred investment round to help position the fintech for “rapid international expansion”.

Andrew Evans, Smart’s chief executive officer, said: “Natixis IM shares our vision of utilising digital technologies to help improve outcomes for all savers, and we look forward to working with Natixis IM as we build our platform to power the pensions of the future.”

He said that having access to Natixis IM’s affiliate companies will help Smart develop more innovative investment solutions for its members, including the use of illiquid alternative solutions.

Jean Raby, Natixis IM’s CEO, said the firm’s investment will help accelerate its growth in defined contribution pension markets in the UK and globally.

“This investment is part of the ongoing commitment by Natixis IM to focus on the types of innovative platforms and business models that are leading change across our industry,” he added.

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