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BlackRock takes Scalable Capital stake in Europe 'robo-advisor' push

20 Juin 2017

This trend is prompting strong demand from European financial institutions - including banks, insurers, wealth managers and advisory firms - for high-quality technology-enabled investment solutions.

The investment - which takes the company's total funding to €41m - will enable Scaleable Capital to expand further across Europe, helping financial institutions cope with the need to increase investor protection, value for money and transparency in light of a "changing regulatory landscape".

BlackRock (BLK) has taken an undisclosed stake in Scalable Capital Tuesday, leading a $33.6 million round of funding for the European robo-advice digital investment manager, Reuters reported.

As part of the deal, BlackRock's chief operating officer of EMEA Patrick Olson will join Scalable's supervisory board.

Adam French, co-founder and co-CEO at Scalable Capital, said: "BlackRock's backing provides a huge opportunity for us to partner with their clients to help accelerate our business with financial institutions and corporates".

"Our investment in Scalable Capital allows us to meet these evolving needs of our clients and their customers and to help shape their business models for the future".

Since its launch 16 months ago the firm has gathered more than €250m (£217m) of assets from 6,000 retail clients, and has experienced strong demand from financial institutions and corporates, it said.

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BlackRock has a deep heritage in technology.

The deal is BlackRock's latest venture into the digital wealth management arena, which has included several acquisitions, and joins its existing tech suite, spanning Aladdin Risk for Wealth, iRetire and Future Advisor in the US. Consequently, firms will be seeking technological solutions to assist with portfolio construction, risk management, and digital distribution.

It also follows the purchase in 2015 of USA -based robo-adviser FutureAdvisor which, like Scalable, uses exchange-traded funds to build portfolios for clients and began serving retail customers.

He says: [BlackRock's] investment in our firm is a fantastic validation of our work so far, opens up new growth avenues for our business and firmly establishes us on the digital wealth management map in Europe.

Scalable Capital intends to use the funding to expand further into Europe and will remain an independent company. Scalable Capital's platform provides a practical solution for firms looking at technology to help shape their business models for the future. The robo-adviser said its business, product selection and asset allocation decisions will continue to be independent despite the U.S. manager taking a stake.

The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.

BlackRock takes Scalable Capital stake in Europe 'robo-advisor' push