Wednesday, 17 April 2024

SC Ventures and NEXT176 launch wealth platform

5 min read

SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, and NEXT176, the venture building and investment arm of Old Mutual, a Pan-African financial services group, have joined forces to launch an inclusive financial wellness platform.

With a shared vision to address financial inclusion, and improve access to budgeting and financial planning tools, this strategic partnership will merge two ventures: SC Ventures-backed Autumn, a financial goals and wealth planning app that was incubated in Singapore; and NEXT176-backed 22seven, a budget aggregation and tracking app based in South Africa.

This inclusive wealth management platform will aim to bring simple, affordable, AI-led and Shariah-compliant wealth management solutions to users in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Benito Mable, venture and strategic partnerships lead based in the UAE, SC Ventures said: “The UAE and the Middle East are emerging as one of the leading destinations for wealth management globally—whether it’s high net worth income population, Millennials, or Gen Z — there is demand for technologically advanced and highly-customised wealth management tools supported by ongoing financial education.”

Mable said: “The assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East rose 16% to $1.2 trillion in 2022, according to BCG. The region is expected to grow further and remain the fourth-largest wealth hub in the world making UAE a perfect market for our base.”

Soon to be headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Middle East’s financial hub, this innovative wealth management platform, is expected to provide access to advanced budgeting, savings, and investment solutions for users in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia regions, creating a long-lasting positive impact for the future generations.

Alex Manson, who leads SC Ventures said: “At SC Ventures, we believe strongly in improving access to financial services through a combination of literacy and digital-first platforms. This partnership is a strong example and will contribute to rewiring the DNA in banking and financial services in our communities.”

Manson said: “In NEXT176, we found a strategic partner with a shared vision to democratise wealth management. We are looking forward to an impactful venture that will help its clients take ownership of their financial future.”

The merger, subject to required approvals, is expected to close in Q2 2024 and create a holistic financial wellness platform aimed at democratising wealth management. An estimated $2.4 trillion of investable wealth is held on the African continent, according to the Africa Wealth report 2023 published by Henley & Partners. Wealth management remains generally exclusive to high-net-worth individuals with at least $1 million in liquid assets, who can access private banks and advisor networks. The average individual lacks access to tools and products to plan, grow and protect their wealth.

Vuyo Mpako, managing director, NEXT176 said: “This is a significant milestone for 22seven and aligns with NEXT176’s aspiration of positively impacting a billion lives with a product that gives impactful insights into their financial lives across our key geographies on the African continent, and extending to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.”

Mpako added: “We believe that this merger will further enhance collaboration opportunities between SCV and NEXT176.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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