Atomos has appointed Willis Towers Watson (WTW) to design and manage its UK-based retail investment portfolios. The agreement, which is based on a three-year exclusivity period, will allow Atomos access to WTW’s 150-strong investment research and portfolio management team.
As a result, Atomos clients will have access to benefits that were, until this point, only available to large institutional investors. These include a larger range of strategies, more robust investment management and risk controls, access to alternatives and private markets, and better economies of scale.
Atomos, which rebranded from Sanlam Wealth in September, currently has around 8,000 clients, and manages £7bn of assets.
Haig Bathgate (pictured), the head of investments at Atomos, said the strategic alliance with WTW was testament to Atomos’ aim to deliver an “exceptional service and experience” to clients.
“Bringing in WTW’s vast global expertise in investments across all geographies and asset classes, as well as their industry leading investment research and portfolio management, enables our clients to benefit from institutional economies of scale and expertise. The breadth of investment expertise available at WTW is beyond anything else available in the wealth management market and the company has a track record of driving down investment costs, helping to enhance investor returns.
“The input we receive from WTW will help us achieve our ambition to become the first truly hybrid wealth manager, with access to intuitive digital apps, high quality investment solutions and personalised support and relationship from portfolio managers and financial planners.”
WTW’s head of investments for Europe, Mark Calnan, said that the appointment was very exciting for the firm: “Our brief is to improve performance over the long term, [and] to enable Atomos to provide their clients with access to a broader, more diversified set of asset classes that adhere to strong principles of sustainable investing.
“Ultimately, we’re here to help Atomos generate the savings outcomes their clients need, whilst improving the planet and society for future generations. Retail savers are fast appreciating that, if they invest in a thoughtful way, their savings can make a difference.
Calnan said that the current approach to investment management in the retail market is not serving the needs of its clients, adding “the most effective way to generate savings for retail clients is to outsource to third parties, like WTW, who have the scale, investment rigour, and dedicated resources to continue to deliver investment returns throughout the market cycle, not just when markets are rising”.
“This engagement is another step towards applying our investment expertise to as broad a range of asset owners as possible to help us achieve our wider mission to change investment for the better.”
WTW has $4.7trn (£4.1trn) of assets under advisory, and $187bn (£163bn) of assets under management.