- Cushon confirms it has reached an agreement to acquire Creative – manager of Creative Pension Trust – which is its third master trust pension acquisition in two years, post-authorisation.
- When the transaction is completed Cushon will more than double in size to 400,000 customers and assets under management (AUM) increasing 102% to around £1.7 billion.
- The deal, subject to regulatory approval, establishes Cushon as the UK’s fifth largest master trust provider by number of employers.
- The acquisition has been enabled by a further fundraising round, bringing the total amount raised by Cushon since 2020 to £61 million.
20 January 2022: Today, workplace savings fintech, Cushon, announces it is acquiring Creative, as part of its mission to enable more savers to benefit from its app-first experience and its climate-friendly, sustainable pension. The deal brings Cushon’s total customers to 400,000 and assets under management (including ISA savings) to around £1.7 billion with annual inflows of more than £300 million.
This is Cushon’s third workplace pension acquisition in two years in line with regulatory goals to drive further consolidation in the market. There have been four major consolidations in the workplace pensions market in the past two years, three of which have been completed by Cushon. With the addition of the 14,500 additional employers under Creative Pension Trust, this makes Cushon the fifth largest master trust pension provider in the UK.
It is yet another key milestone in Cushon’s journey to make a genuine difference to society and deliver a better financial future for everyone. It aims to engage savers and investors via its intuitive app, automated investment monitoring service and personalised experience, to make pensions more impactful for all savers.
The UK pensions market is the third largest in the world – with a total of £2.58 trillion invested1 – and the way people’s money is invested has a significant impact on society and the environment. The average UK pension finances a staggering 23 tonnes in CO2e every year, roughly equivalent to 5 family cars. Through its sophisticated technology Cushon’s investment strategy blends listed bonds and equities and a multi-asset private markets portfolio, offering truly socially responsible and sustainable investments.
The acquisition was supported by a further fundraising round, raised entirely by Cushon’s existing investors, which also provides additional growth capital for Cushon’s capability to scale, for example to enhance its customer service function within Belfast following the acquisition of the Workers Pension Trust in 2021. This will enable faster onboarding of savers who will benefit from its digital experience and its net zero, sustainable pension.
Ben Pollard, CEO and founder of Cushon, said: “Our mission is to offer UK savers a convenient, climate-friendly, and great value way to save, through a combination of cutting-edge technology and socially responsible investments. Right now, workplace pensions are simply too complicated, boring, and disconnected from things people care deeply about. Cushon is here to change that, and today’s announcement is a hugely significant milestone for us.
“The funding will continue to fuel Cushon’s growth, enable us to scale even faster, and accelerate some exciting new features within our app. It will also support the acquisition of Creative which not only doubles the reach of our app-first climate-friendly pension, but also incorporates the talent, expertise and credibility of the Creative business. This is another momentous step on our journey to ensure millions of people across the UK have the ability to access innovative workplace savings solutions in the palm of their hand, together with a right to feel optimistic for the future they are helping to build via their investments.”
Sally Webber, CEO, at Creative, said: “With more and more customers looking to use technology to manage their pension, and a heightened focus on the environmental and social impact of investments, joining the Cushon group will allow us to ensure our customers’ interests are both considered and protected. Our employers and customers alike will benefit from Cushon’s wider workplace savings offering and its innovative, technology-led approach – an approach that is unlike any other workplace savings provider in the market. We are excited to become a part of the Cushon Group, enhancing the offering for both our employers and customers and using market-leading innovation to improve engagement with pensions.”
Tim Levene, CEO of Augmentum Fintech, said: “Workplace pensions and ISAs are ready for transformative change. Public policy will continue to encourage people to save more and there is significant opportunity to successfully challenge incumbents struggling to transform digitally. Cushon has become the leading digital disruptor in this space with a world class technology platform and a truly innovative product.”
Phil Fretwell, Founding Partner at AshGrove Capital, said: “We are delighted to continue to support Cushon with further acquisition and growth funding. The acquisition of Creative is a significant milestone that more than doubles Cushon’s assets under management and positions Cushon as the stand out consolidator in the tech-enabled workplace savings market. The combination of structural organic growth in master trusts, driven by annual inflows, coupled with a clear market need to consolidate master trusts in order to drive better outcomes for savers remain central tenants to our investment thesis. We look forward to continuing to work with the team on the many exciting initiatives Cushon has planned.”
Completion of the acquisition, which is expected in Q1 2022, is subject to regulatory approval.
Notes to editors:
- According to data from Willis Towers Watson’s Global Pension Assets Study.
For further information, please contact the team at Cushon on email@example.com
Cushon is a fintech using its world-leading financial technology to engage savers and empower them to build a better financial future.
Cushon offers pension and savings products via an intuitive mobile app that provides a highly personalised experience and environmentally friendly investments, making it easy for customers to manage their money and invest in a way that aligns with their personal goals and beliefs.
With a solution that fully integrates with payroll and benefit platforms, Cushon’s products are delivered via the workplace to reach as many savers as possible. Employers use Cushon to enhance the financial wellbeing of their workforce by providing employees with a simple and convenient way to save into pensions, ISAs and other products direct from pay.
Cushon currently has over 200,000 customers with £840m of assets under management. Its corporate clients include 250 well known blue-chip companies including many of the FTSE 100, plus over 7,500 smaller employers across the UK.
To find out more please visit http://www.cushon.co.uk/