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SmarterInvestment signs distribution deal with Aon, as Unum announces 50% stake in the workplace ISA business

6th February 2017

  • SmarterInvestment announces distribution agreement with Aon to promote its workplace ISAs to UK employers
  • Move comes as Unum expands its employee benefits portfolio, acquiring a 50% stake in SmarterInvestment

Today, SmarterInvestment, a platform which offers stocks and shares ISAs through the workplace, reveals it is partnering with Aon in order to promote the solution to large employers and SMEs throughout the UK. The move comes as employee benefits provider, Unum, announced it completed a deal to acquire a 50% stake in SmarterInvestment in December following a period of close collaboration.

Unum’s investment in SmarterInvestment demonstrates a unique expansion in Unum’s employee benefits portfolio, which has been gradually diversifying in recent years, having acquired National Dental Plan in 2015. SmarterInvestment’s deal with Aon is its first major distribution partnership.

The deals mark the first time that Unum will offer workplace ISAs as part of its employee benefits offering to employers. Research by Unum1 has found that almost a quarter (23%) of employers are considering offering workplace ISAs, with just 4% of companies currently offering this. SmarterInvestment workplace ISAs offer employers a much needed solution which can be added as an option in an employee benefits package at no extra cost to the employer.

SmarterInvestment aims to make investing in a stocks and shares ISA through the workplace simple, and has a number of features to ensure this, including:

  • Straightforward and impartial information to demystify ISA investments
  • Readymade diversified portfolios of top-rated funds, outlining to employees what their good, bad and most-likely investment case scenario is for each fund
  • Free monitoring and alerts service for investments with SmarterCare
  • Minimal admin – easy sign up process and opportunity to invest monthly via salary deduction
  • A 50% discount on platform charges

Peter O’Donnell, Unum UK CEO, said: “SmarterInvestment is a natural fit with Unum’s existing portfolio as we look to grow and diversify our employee benefits offering.

“With financial wellbeing rising up the corporate agenda, the ability to provide employees with vehicles to save or invest money through their workplace is becoming increasingly important. There is a clear appetite from both employers and their employees for workplace ISAs, and we know that a well-balanced employee benefits package is a vital way businesses can support their workforce.”

Ben Pollard, Actuary and Founder, SmarterInvestment said: “The distribution deal with Aon reflects the growing need for easily accessible and simple saving solutions. New research by Unum2 has revealed that almost half [47%] of employees feel that investments and savings are complicated, and that 52% would consider managing their savings and investments more if it were simpler. SmarterInvestment’s workplace ISA has been deliberately designed to respond to these needs and simplify the process.”

Manesh Patel, senior consultant of Aon Employee Benefits, said: “Provision of financial wellbeing is extremely important, not least as 91%3 of employees feel their employer should help with their long-term and retirement needs. SmarterInvestment makes it simpler for employer to implement, and for employees to save on a regular basis. It will be available in Aon Plus voluntary benefits, flexible benefit programmes and Aon’s Bigblue Touch Group Personal Pension.”

-ENDS-

  1. Unum survey with 278 employers, August 2016
  2. Unum and YouGov research, October 2016, 1010 GB employees responded
  3. Aon Hewitt’s 2015 ‘Financial Mindset Study’ and ‘The Real Deal’ Its US parent company, Unum Group, traces its history back to 1848 and is one of the leading providers of employee benefits products and services, and the largest provider of group and individual disability insurance in the United States. Premium income for Unum Group and its subsidiaries totalled $8.1 billion in the year ended 31 December 2015, with reported revenues for the group totalling $10.7 billion. Total assets were $60.6 billion at 31 December 2015.
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