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Asset Management / Wealth Management
SC Ventures, NEXT176 team up on wealth management
Fintech merger will be based in UAE to tap opportunities in the Middle East and Africa
The Asset 5 Apr 2024

SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation and fintech investment arm, has joined forces with NEXT176, the venture and investment unit of pan-African financial services group Old Mutual, to launch an inclusive wealth management platform.

Seeking to promote financial inclusion and improve access to budgeting and financial planning tools, the strategic partnership will merge two ventures: SC Ventures-backed Autumn, a financial goals and wealth planning app incubated in Singapore, and NEXT176-supported 22seven, a budget aggregation and tracking app based in South Africa.

The platform will soon be headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, the heart of the Middle East’s financial sector, to bring simple, affordable, artificial intelligence-led, and Shariah-compliant wealth management solutions to users in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. 

Assets under management in the Middle East rose 16% to US$1.2 trillion in 2022, says Benito Mable, SC Ventures’ venture and strategic partnerships lead based in the UAE, citing data from Boston Consulting Group.  “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,” he adds.

Meanwhile, an estimated US$2.4 trillion of investable wealth is held on the African continent, says SC Ventures, citing the Africa Wealth Report 2023 published by Henley & Partners.

However, wealth management remains generally exclusive to high-net-worth Individuals with at least US$1 million in liquid assets, who can access private banks and advisory networks. The average individual lacks access to tools and products to plan, grow and protect their wealth.

“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,” says SC Ventures head Alex Manson.

The merger, subject to required approvals, is expected to close in Q2 2024.

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