Aviva installs new Wealthify chief executive

Wealthify's co-founder and chief executive Richard Theo, along with chairman Richard Avery-Wright, are leaving "at a time that is right for the business".

A statement from the Cardiff-based FinTech explained that Andrew Russell has been appointed as its new chief executive, as it becomes 100 per cent owned by Aviva.

In 2018, Wealthify became majority owned by Aviva and this transaction contained the option for the founders to sell their remaining shares to Aviva - which they have now exercised.

Russell has worked for Aviva for 11 years and has over 20 years’ experience in financial services. "With many years of direct-to-consumer savings, investments and leadership experience, Andrew is well placed to lead Wealthify on the next stage of its evolution whilst nurturing the Wealthify personality that continues to drive its growth," read the statement.

While Theo and Avery-Wright will stand down, Michelle Pearce-Burke will continue with the business in her post as chief investment officer and chief operating officer, together with the five other members of the senior leadership team.

Theo commented: "I have achieved my ambition to create a digital investment service that cuts through complexity and makes investing accessible to everyone, regardless of wealth or experience.

"It has been a wonderful and challenging experience to take Wealthify from a humble start up with a huge ambition to a lean, high-performing business that is ready to scale and go on to even greater success - this is the right time for me to exit the business, and I wish my brilliant colleagues every success for what is sure to be a bright future."

Wealthify has grown significantly since its launch in 2016, expanding its original offering of stocks and shares ISAs and general investment accounts to now include ethical investments, junior stocks and shares ISAs, and more recently self-invested personal pensions.

The ‘robo’ investment service now employs more than 40 people and manages the investments of 30,000 customers.

Russell commented: "Richard has set up a great leadership team, agile technology, and an inspiring start-up culture, that together has created an accessible, award-winning ‘robo’ investment tool.

"It feels like now is the right time in the company’s evolution to fully join up the creativity and agility of Wealthify with the strength and experience of Aviva, and I am looking forward to leading the next phase of Wealthify’s growth."

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