Smart, a large London-based online record keeper, has established operations in the U.S. to take advantage of anticipated business opportunities emanating from the SECURE Act, the company announced.
The company will launch record-keeping services for pooled employer plans in the U.S. in 2021 and will also bring technology to facilitate retirement income services, it said.
Jodan Ledford, CEO of Smart in the U.S., alluded to the market potential of the U.S., saying that 38 million U.S. households do not own any retirement account assets. Mr. Ledford was previously chief client officer at Legal & General Investment Management America.
“The SECURE Act provides an opportunity for all of us to help close this retirement gap. We at Smart saw that our technology was needed to help advisers, employers and partners support even more Americans,” Mr. Ledford said in a news release.
The company touted its “proven, 100% cloud-based technology,” which it said offers “easy-to-use, turnkey solutions for plan advisers and employers of all sizes and ambition.” The company will support advisers just beginning to serve retirement plans as well as experienced retirement plan advisers, it said.
The company enters the U.S. with more than 70,000 U.K. retirement plans on its platform, putting it on par with Empower Retirement, the U.S.’s second-largest record keeper by number of plans. It runs the U.K. defined contribution multiemployer Smart Pension master trust. Empower, which recently announced plans to acquire the record-keeping businesses of MassMutual and Fifth Third Bank, will have roughly 67,000 plans on its platform when the acquisitions close, according to Pensions & Investments data.
Smart launched in the U.S. with strategic investors J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Barclays, the Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers.