ClearGlass Analytics, a digital intermediary between asset managers and pension funds, has closed a £2.6 million funding.
Who backed ClearGlass?
The funding round was backed by VC Lakestar and Outward VC, and several significant angels from both the asset management and pension fund worlds.
These include Ruston Smith, a well-known professional pension trustee, Richard Butcher, Chair of the PLSA (UK pension trade body), Chris Wilcox, former Global Head of JP Morgan Asset Management, and his former JP Morgan colleagues Rob O’Rahilly, Sikander Ilyas, and Alex Large.
How will the funding be used?
The company will use the funding to further expand into the UK Defined Contribution pension market and consolidate its early footprint in Europe and Africa.
Further, they also plan to leverage their network to collect other data and build new and more useful Value-for-Money assessment tools for pensions.
A digital intermediary
Founded by Dr. Christopher Sier, Ritesh Singhania, and Kunal Varma, the UK company acts as the data interface between asset managers and their clients, offering pension funds a digital platform where they can see all of their investment costs in one place.
This platform enables them to get much more data from more asset managers and other suppliers, which helps them see the true cost of what they are paying for the management of their investments.
The company is targeting the £1.5 trillion mature “Defined Benefit” pension schemes market. At present, the company works with over 500 DB pension funds, which represent almost £700 billion of pension assets.
Notably, the company is planning to offer its services free to all pension schemes with less than £30 million assets under management. This could be 2,000 additional schemes added to the platform, a huge surge in the volume of data on the platform, and a real test of the product’s scalability, claims the company.
Dr. Christopher Sier, founder, and CEO of ClearGlass, said, “Finding your costs are so much larger is shocking, but also something to be celebrated. These incremental costs were always there, they just weren’t exposed, and now you can identify those and bring about change. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
Tim Giles, EMEA MD of Aon Investments said “We’ve been working with ClearGlass since launch, and not only have they improved our productivity by doing the data chasing for us, but the analysis they have produced has been of material benefit to many Aon clients. This new funding is great news as it will give Chris and the team what they need to expand into Europe and to develop their service. We look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Louis Warner, Chief Operating Officer at Founders Factory added: “We are proud to be early backers of ClearGlass and particularly the outstanding founding team of Chris and Ritesh. With Chris’ deep knowledge and authority in the sector, and Ritesh’s drive for product and customer-experience excellence, we believe their vision to bring transparency and innovation to the pensions industry will be transformational.”