Cushon have won the race to absorb Creative Benefits and its highly popular master trust. Its blog tells us that the acquisition of Creative doubles Cushon’s sits reach to over 400,000 members and increases AUM (including ISAs) to £1.7bn. Money is now pouring into Cushon at £300m a year,
With its focus on its carbon footprint , Cushon now has both definition and scale. It also has a highly diversified group of participating employers, many of whom will find their staff in a default fund that is radically different. Creative has an extraordinary 14,500 employers participating in its trust.
Also transitioning from Creative to Cushon will be the staff of Creative benefits , many of whom I worked with when I was working within the Alexander Forbes group. The pensions expertise of the likes of Sally Webber will be important to Cushon as it grows into its new skin as a major workplace pension.
Cushon’s success mirrors that of Smart five years earlier. They have managed to tap into private equity through Ashgrove Capital , proving that the market sees its financial technology and commitment to sustainable investment as commercially attractive.
Cushon is now competing in the same space as Smart and it will be interesting to see how these two compete.
There are more master trust consolidations on the way, as Hymans Robertson’s Rona Train tells us on these highlights from this week’s Pension PlayPen coffee morning
Pension Bee’s latest figures continue the remarkable success story of a firm that was but a start up five years ago.
It is now trading on the High Growth Segment of the London Stock Exchange’s Main
Market and these results see its assets doubling in a year, well ahead of market guidance.
As with Cushon, Pension Bee has benefited from the trend to consolidate pension pots and as with Cushon, there proposition has been shaped by people’s desire to use technology to manage their pensions.
Pension Bee has the added advantage of growing organically, it has made no acquisitions and its substantial customer base have signed up without the nudge of auto-enrolment.
It will be interesting to see to what extent Cushon’s intention to engage its membership with their savings can be achieved with its inorganic membership. It will also be interesting watching Pension Bee’s growth as a platform for sustainable investing (it is now focussing on LGIM’s Fossil Fuel Free Fund – a fund which it co-created.
These two firms are not alone in looking to capture the hearts as well as wallets of savers. The next wave of hi-tec sustainable investment platform is already on its way in the form of Circa 5000 which will be looking to eat Pension Bee’s lunch in due course.
This tells me that there is competition for our savings from a new wave of investment platforms using pension wrappers as a means of building wealth. Watch this space- you won’t be the only one.
Consolidation is a good thing👇🏼
Good to see this on every level 👍 https://t.co/i5xgbPkz8k
— Guy Opperman (@GuyOpperman) January 21, 2022