MassMutual acquires Flourish to enhance customer experience
Entering into an agreement with , an asset management firm with over US$10bn AUM, MassMutual will take over Flourish’s specialised RIA (registered investment advisers) platform for an undisclosed sum.
The latter company is seeking to empower financial advisors by means of digital technology and innovative investment solutions. Currently used by over 350 wealth management firms representing $600bn in collected assets, Flourish allows the user to achieve a competitive rate of savings from an integrated account.
Supporting a vision
Despite the acquisition, Flourish will still operate independently from MassMutual’s existing insurance business. However, the former will use the latter’s scale and resources as one of the US’ largest financial services companies to expand its presence and products.
“MassMutual is focused on providing a simplified, digital, customer-centric user experience, and Flourish will help accelerate that strategy, ultimately supporting our vision of providing financial well-being for all Americans,” commented Gareth Ross, MassMutual Head of Enterprise Technology and Experience.
“We are thrilled to have the exceptionally talented team from Flourish join MassMutual and add their digital expertise and track record of innovation to our efforts, and we look forward to delivering exciting new Flourish modules to advisors in the coming months.”
Phil Zeidler, CEO of DeadHappy, told InsurTech Digital:
“Fundamentally, general insurers are product focused and not customer focused. They think about risk and loss ratios, not customer experience aspects such as ease of access.
“Often they’re removed from the distribution of their product: they outsource to brokers, aggregators, etc, and so they don’t understand their customer or where they’re being marginalised. If you don’t understand your customers, you don’t understand the market.”
With innovation conceivably on a ‘timer’, MassMutual’s decision to bolster its services with a digital partner is indicative of the action that other incumbents must take in order to stay relevant in the emerging insurance dynamic.
Aviva Investors launch $350m global climate credit fund
Aviva Investors has launched a climate transition global credit fund and has already allocated US$350m in strategic capital.
The funding, which has been provided by Aviva’s UK and Irish multi-asset funds, will be used to invest in companies offering goods and services that support climate change mitigation and the move towards a more sustainable future.
According to reports, the fund is in line with Aviva’s ESG philosophy on green policies and the United Nations sustainable development goals. It will be handled by portfolio managers Justine Vroman and Tom Chinery, as well as the noted climate specialist, Rick Stathers.
Aviva sustainable investment strategy
Companies excluded from the investment fund will be those entrenched in the fossil fuel industry, while enterprises that look at solutions to climate-related problems, such as sustainable transport, renewable energy and environmentally conscious lending, will be targeted.
Aviva Investors confirmed the goal is to capture transition-oriented companies with low decarbonisation and physical impact risk.
The initiative will also be benchmarked against the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Corporates Index, investing predominately in investment-grade companies and a small allocation of up to 5% in high-yield bonds.
Colin Purdie, Aviva Investors chief investment officer for credit, explained, "We can't pivot to a lower-carbon world if all we do is rule out the poor performers and only invest in companies that provide solutions to climate change. All companies need to adjust for a warmer, lower carbon world, which is why we felt it was important to use a wider transition lens to capture a larger set of businesses beyond those with obvious green credentials."
He said, "As investors, it is our responsibility to look beyond small pockets of green finance to engage and mobilise the liquidity of the wider credit market to assist in climate transition and the achievement of net zero carbon emissions."
Purdie added, "Companies that don't adjust their business models will be less attractive to investors and will present a less compelling investment case over time. Climate laggards may find that their financing becomes more expensive than that available to climate leaders."