Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) and Aviva have partnered in a £5m investment to create in its words the ‘next-generation’ mortgage, protection and general insurance platform, which will be available to the whole market by year-end.
The first working version will be available and operational for Sesame Bankhall advisers including PMS by November or December, confirmed the group.
Technology start-up firm Acre Software will own and develop the software, which harnesses blockchain to use property and consumer data, with the firm saying it will transform the way mortgage and protection advisers process business and service their clients.
Acre uses blockchain to bring together all the components of the mortgage advice process into one unchangeable ‘record of the transaction’, putting brokers back in control of their business and offering a seamless, faster journey for consumers.
With the volume of transactions provided by Sesame Bankhall Group, Acre aims to become one of the largest users of blockchain in the UK.
Incubator start up
Acre emerged out of Founders Factory, started by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, – Martha’s brother – which offers an incubator for start-up companies and assists with product development, market insight and capital. Aviva Ventures is an investor in Founders Factory and worked with SBG to help facilitate Aviva’s investment in Acre.
Acre’s goal is to radically improve the whole experience around the mortgage and insurance application process for advisers and their clients.
John Cowan, executive chairman, Sesame Bankhall Group said: “After undertaking a comprehensive 12-month review of the market, we concluded that we could no longer ignore the new competitive threats circling around our profession and we had to act.
“Working with Aviva Ventures, we saw an opportunity to turn the threat posed by new disruptive technology on its head. Acre will bring the latest technology know-how, and that, coupled with our distribution expertise will help advisers and their clients reap the benefits.”
Justus Brown, CEO and founder of Acre Software and former Founders Factory chief product officer, said: “We are thrilled to have SBG’s distribution muscle and industry expertise, along with Aviva and SBG’s financial support at our disposal on this journey.”
Martin Schultheiss, group managing director of Sesame Bankhall Group outlined the fact SBG serves over 10,000 financial advisers across the UK and facilitated £42bn in mortgage completions last year.
“These advisers are looking to us to help build the next generation of adviser services to ensure they stay competitive. The SBG and Acre relationship helps to enable this future vision for us.”
Ben Luckett, managing director of Aviva Ventures, said: “Acre has identified a market which can be improved through technology and they’ve gone for it by securing a very large distribution partner, which is often the missing ingredient for success.
“I’ve really enjoyed watching the company develop, and the investment we’re announcing today will allow them to build their team further and realise their full potential.”