Royal London’s prospective acquisition of Wealth Wizards could help IFAs in the digitisation process that has been so key in maintaining the industry during the coronavirus crisis, according to the chief executive Barry O’Dwyer.
The deal between the UK’s largest mutual life company and the fintech firm is currently subject to regulatory approval.
Mr O’Dwyer said: “We have learnt the importance of digital capability. Last year some advisers discovered they were too face-to-face and we want to help advisers go digital. Once we have Wealth Wizards in the stable, we want to use it to help advisers be more digital to ensure if we enter another lockdown they will not suffer.
“Wealth Wizards was by far and away the best firm we looked at in the market. It has been doing this for 10 years and has been involved in the FCA Sandbox, so we are delighted.”
Royal London are aiming to incorporate more innovative technology into their business model after a difficult year for the mutual pensions business which saw sales drop 20 per cent in 2020.
The Wealth Wizards acquisition seems to be an overhaul of the digital and fintech side of the business: in September 2020, Royal London sold their Ascentric platform to M&G.
Mr O’Dwyer commented on the sale: “For me the sale of the business was correct as it is old technology now and solving a problem 10 or 15 years old. It did not make sense for us to continue to have an old platform in Royal London when we were looking to invest in new adviser technology and build for the future. We are also investing heavily into our pension’s system so it is state of the art.”