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JP Morgan Chase buys robo-adviser Nutmeg

Written by: Emma Lunn
The US investment bank has bought the digital wealth manager in a deal thought to be worth about £700m.

The deal will net the US bank billions of pounds in assets in Britain ahead of its plans to launch in the UK retail market later this year. JP Morgan plans to offer current accounts under the Chase brand. It will compete with Goldman Sach’s consumer brand Marcus, which launched in Britain in 2018.

Nutmeg has expanded rapidly since its launch in 2012 to manage £3.5bn in assets for about 140,000 customers. As a ‘robo-adviser’ it offers lower cost automated financial planning services. However, it is yet to turn a profit.

Neil Alexander, Nutmeg CEO, said: “Since the beginning of our journey, Nutmeg has attracted the interest of venture capitalists, institutional investors, international and global leaders in the financial services sector and, two years ago, we welcomed over 2,000 crowdfund investors – all of whom share our vision for the future of investment and wealth management.

“Today, I’m pleased to announce that the next chapter for the Nutmeg business will begin, as Nutmeg will become part of JPMorgan Chase. With more than 140,000 clients and over £3.5bn of AUM, Nutmeg will form the bedrock of the bank’s retail digital wealth management offering internationally over the long term, complementing the launch of Chase as a digital bank in the UK later this year.”

Nutmeg says the products and services it currently offers will be unaffected by the deal. But after the deal is complete it will be “working closely on further developing our offering to the benefit of our investors”.

Holly Mackay, Boring Money CEO, said: “Todays’ announcement marks an interesting new chapter for digital wealth management in the UK, as the first UK robo adviser becomes the latest to join the list of those acquired or largely funded by established financial giants.

“With Goldman Sachs reportedly launching a robo adviser in the UK next year under the successful Marcus brand, there is an interesting push from US banks with strong wealth management arms into UK territory.

“Clearly JP Morgan Chase will offer both a solid brand and, based on reports, a broader suite of digital banking products which should reduce average acquisition costs. JP Morgan currently provide some of the Nutmeg portfolios – it feels inevitable that they will shortly move to offer all investment management portfolios as soon as contractually permissible.”

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