Just when you thought the big banks might be getting a little too complacent about the challenge from fintech, JPMorgan announced today that it will acquire U.K.-based digital wealth management platform Nutmeg. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Reuters cited a source who gave Nutmeg a valuation of more than $972 million (£700 million).
JPMorgan Chase CEO of International Consumer Sanoke Viswanathan said that the acquisition would give the bank the opportunity to “build Chase in the U.K. from scratch using the very latest technology.” The Nutmeg acquisition also will complement JPMorgan Chase’s U.K. digital bank launch scheduled for later this year.
A Finovate alum since 2012, Nutmeg was a pioneer in offering affordable, automated financial planning and investment services. Now the largest digital wealth manager in the U.K., Nutmeg has grown into a platform with more than 140,000 clients and $4.9 billion (£3.5 billion) in assets under management. Investors can open an account with as little as £100 or £500, depending on the product, and configure their investment goals and risk level, as well as investment style in a minutes. With a product suite that includes a variety of ISAs (Lifetime, Junior, Stocks and shares) as well as pension and general investment accounts, Nutmeg leverages exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to keep costs low and diversification options broad for investors.
Nutmeg and JPMorgan are far from strangers. The two companies announced a partnership back in November of last year to launch a “bespoke new investment offering” called Smart Alpha for Nutmeg customers. The new Smart Alpha portfolios blend Nutmeg’s core investment principles and expertise in exchange-traded funds and fractional investing with JPMorgan Chase’s in-house multi-asset knowledge and experience. Smart Alpha portfolios are designed for investors of all risk levels who want a globally diversified, dynamic portfolio derives additional returns via smart and transparent security selection.