PensionBee CEO Romi Savova to "divide" time between UK and US, as neo-pensions platform chases US glory

The UK-listed firm, which is trying to shake up the pensions industry, wants to make it big in the  US, the world’s largest Defined Contribution pension market.

The CEO of PensionBee will divide her time between the UK and the US, after the neo-pensions platform yesterday (Monday) announced plans to expand into the US pensions market.

The UK-listed firm, which is trying to shake up the pensions industry, wants to make it big in the US, the world’s largest Defined Contribution pension market, representing around 80 per cent of the global total and $22.5 trillion in assets.

It plans to launch stateside in late 2024 and its CEO plans to be hands-on in its assault on the US.

PensionBee CEO Romi Savova “will be dividing her time between the UK and US", a PensionBee spokesperson said.

"PensionBee has a well-established remote working culture, making global management effective regardless of whether one is sitting in London or New York."

The pensions platform said that US consumers will be able to "easily consolidate" and roll over their 401(k) plans into new retirement accounts.

Instead of going it alone, PensionBee has struck a deal with an unnamed “large, US-based global financial institution”, which will provide “expertise and substantial marketing funding” while PensionBee wil manage its business operation and build its US team.

The US team is expected to be made up of new US recruits and existing staff transferring to the US, the spokesperson said.

They added:

“Our team will be in place by the end of 2024. We expect to make some transfers from the UK given the experience our colleagues have accumulated in the UK and the importance of maintaining our culture.

We will also hire locally, especially in operations, to ensure we can serve the American consumer effectively from the appropriate time zone."

On teaming up with a US partner, the spokesperson said "it is certainly possible to go it alone, but given the scale of the US market, an experienced partner can positively contribute to the thinking and execution”.

PensionBee does not have immediate plans to launch into further international markets.

The spokesperson added:

“The US and UK collectively make up 85 per cent of the global total, so we are delighted to now be addressing the majority of the DC pensions market.

We will certainly keep an eye on other countries, especially as their pension systems evolve."

On challenges facing PensionBee in the US, the spokesperson added:

"Consumer engagement with pensions is always a challenge, but we are looking forward to making retirement savings interesting and simplifying the process of preparing for retirement."

Success, the spokesperson said, will be judged on metrics such as number of customer registrations and transfers, as well as average pot sizes, among other measures.

PensionBee, founded in 2014, now has £4.4 billion in Assets Under Administration, with around 250,000 customers.

PensionBee added that its US business could grow to become at least the size of its UK business over the next decade.

Lead image: PensionBee CEO Romi Savova. Photo: uncredited.

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